FBI officials sent out a memo warning of terrorist attacks at Super Bowl 50 that could take out the entire fiber-optics system that feeds the arena.
“If the fiber-optic cables get cut, it impacts financial institutions, impacts Silicon Valley,” said retired assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Harp, to KPIX 5. “It impacts a lot of infrastructure in that area.”
The FBI said it hadn’t received a specific threat about the Super Bowl. But agents also said they’ve identified several danger zones outside the stadium they’re going to protect as well, CBS News reported.
“It’s the lone wolf,” Harp said. “It’s the individual who is self-radicalized that creates a problem that you can’t detect. There’s only so much the FBI can do with regard to surveillance within the guidelines of the Constitution.”
If someone were to use a drone to disperse something,” he said, CBS News reported, “it could be a potentially hazardous situation.”
The realm of possible threats to Super Bowl 50 next month is wide and diverse, though not particularly new, according to federal officials.
As they often do before such high-profile events, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI last week issued a “joint special event threat assessment” to state and local authorities in and around Santa Clara, California, where the NFL’s biggest game is being held Feb. 7 at Levi’s Stadium.
In laying out the possibilities, the assessment pointed to a series of attacks on fiber-optic cables that continued into last year, and noted potential threats and criminal uses of commercial drones. It also cited recent attacks by so-called “lone wolf” terrorists inspired by ISIS or other groups, according to federal law enforcement officials familiar with the assessment.
“It’s an overview of threats that can be possibly posed,” but it does not offer any new information, one federal official said.
The assessment notes that “the FBI and DHS have no information to indicate any specific, credible threats to or associated with Super Bowl 50 or related events,” according to WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., which first reported on the assessment.
A second federal official told ABC News that the Department of Homeland Security and FBI authored the assessment because Santa Clara doesn’t often host events as big as the Super Bowl, so federal authorities want to make sure their state and local partners are aware of and prepared for anything.
Levi’s Stadium is home to the NFL’s 49ers and about 40 miles from San Francisco.
The official noted that if authorities believed there were credible threats to the Super Bowl, the information would now be widely distributed via the National Terrorism Advisory System, which DHS recently revamped. Such a move, however, has not happened yet.
From Conservative Tribune
Given that his beloved Chicago Bears were pretty much out of contention on the first week of the regular season, President Barack Obama hasn’t really paid that much attention to the Super Bowl. That doesn’t mean other people aren’t, though — including the savages of the Islamic State group.
An FBI bulletin claimed there was a significant threat to this year’s Super Bowl 50 — being held on Feb. 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California — from terrorist groups.
The bulletin was leaked to the media. The White House, however, has remained entirely silent on the matter.
According to KPIX-TV, the memo did not claim knowledge of a specific attack. However, there was concern about a number of possible targets, including fiber optic systems as well as attacks on spectators.
“There’s going to be law enforcement secreted around the stadium that you are not going to see or know about. They are there,” retired FBI Assistant Special Agent In Charge Jeffrey Harp told reporters.
“If the fiber optic cables get cut, it impacts financial institutions, impacts Silicon Valley, it impacts a lot of infrastructure in that area,” Harp added.
Several attacks have already been carried out against fiber optic systems in the Bay Area, disrupting Silicon Valley’s extensive tech industry. None of those crimes have been solved.
However, while fiber optic attacks are bad enough, something even more frightening might be a “lone wolf” attack like the Islamic State group-inspired massacre downstate in San Bernardino.
“It’s the lone wolf. It’s the individual who is self-radicalized that creates a problem that you can’t detect. There’s only so much the FBI can do with regard to surveillance within the guidelines of the Constitution,” Harp said.