By Dean Olson
One evening soon, perhaps while we watch the 10:00 PM news, programming will be interrupted by breaking news. Details may be sketchy at first, but what will be unmistakable is that in the pre-dawn hours, local time, the initial stages of a concerted attack on Iran is underway. Israel will launch a multifocal preemptive attack against Iran’s nuclear weapon infrastructure and defense installations. Due to the feckless dithering by the empty suit currently kicking back in the White House, the capable Israeli’s will be forced to do the heavy lifting without overt American assistance. They will unleash a thorough and punishing attack to shred the mullah’s dreams of building nuclear weapons with which to annihilate the Jewish state.
Using innovative weapons systems, including one that even the Americans are unaware of, Israel will prosecute a vigorous coordinated strike that includes cyber attacks to totally decapitate and paralyze the Iranian regime and its ability to know what is happening inside the country. The attack will be so thorough that the Internet, telephones, radio and television, communications satellites, and fiber optic cables leading to and from critical installations, including underground missile bases at Khorramabad and Isfahan, will be taken out of action.
An integral part of the attacks will be cyber and electronic warfare to minimize the loss of life of both the attackers as well as the Iranians. Israel will likely deploy a weapon they developed that is capable of mimicking a maintenance cell phone signal that commands a cell network to “sleep.” It will effectively stop cell transmissions making it impossible for the Iranians to use cell phones to communicate. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) also have jammers capable of creating interference within Iran’s emergency frequencies for first responders. In a 2007 attack on a suspected nuclear site at al-Kibar, the Syrian military got a taste of this warfare when Israeli planes “spoofed” the country’s air-defense radars, at first making it appear that no jets were in the sky and then in an instant making the radar believe the sky was filled with hundreds of planes.
Israel also likely would exploit a vulnerability that U.S. officials detected two years ago in Iran’s big-city electric grids which are not “air-gapped” – meaning they are connected to the Internet and therefore vulnerable to a Stuxnet-style cyber attack. Stuxnet is a computer worm that was discovered in June 2010. The source of the virus was never officially identified, but is widely believed to be the Israelis, perhaps with assistance from the U.S. It was designed to attack the software running on a Windows operating system used by the Iranians for their nuclear centrifuges. Stuxnet reportedly ruined almost one-fifth of Iran’s centrifuges by making them spin out of control while simultaneously making them appear to monitoring equipment to be running normally.
A highly secretive research lab attached to the U.S. joint staff and combatant commands, known as the Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC), discovered the weakness in Iran’s electrical grid in 2009, according to one retired senior military intelligence officer. This source also said the Israelis have the capability to bring a denial-of-service (DoS) attack to nodes of Iran’s command and control system that rely on the Internet. A DoS attack occurs when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, usually one or more web servers, causing them to crash. In effect, the targeted system is swamped with traffic and is overwhelmed making it inoperable.
The likely delivery method for some of the electronic elements of this attack would be unmanned aerial vehicles the size of jumbo jets. An earlier version was called the Heron, the latest version is known as the Eitan. According to the Israeli press, the Eitan can fly for 20 straight hours and carry a payload of one ton. Another version of the drone, however, can fly up to 45 straight hours, according to U.S. and Israeli officials. Israel’s air force has been specially fitted for electronic warfare and the Eitans and Herons would also likely be working with a special Israeli air force unit known as the Sky Crows. This unit focuses only on electronic warfare. As one member noted, “Our objective is to activate our systems and to disrupt and neutralize the enemy’s systems.”
One element of the electronic phase of the attack will be targeting of the electrical grid throughout Iran to paralyze it. The weapon of choice is likely to be carbon fiber munitions targeting transformer stations. These high tech weapons are packed with fibers that are finer than a human hair. They cause electrical short circuits that so completely destroy electrical components that the only repair possible is complete removal and replacement.
Part of the wave of attacks will include a barrage of tens of ballistic missiles launched from Israel toward Iran. The missiles will strike their targets with some exploding above ground to destroy vulnerable targets like the nuclear reactor at Arak designed to produce plutonium and tritium, and its nearby heavy water production facility. Other vulnerable sites include the nuclear fuel production facilities at Isfahan and facilities for enriching uranium-hexaflouride. Others munitions are designed to burrow deep into the ground before exploding to penetrate hardened sites such as the Fordo uranium enrichment facility that is carved out of a mountain.
A sustained barrage of hundreds of cruise missiles launched from Israeli submarines in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf will pound command and control systems, research and development facilities, and the residences of senior personnel in the nuclear and missile development apparatus. Intelligence gathered over years will be utilized to completely decapitate Iran’s professional, scientific and command ranks.
Central to the first wave will be electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks that will cause a massive shutdown of the electric power grid and electronic devices. The Israelis may use one of their Jericho IV missiles, or a cruise missile launched from one of their Dolphin submarines, to detonate an EMP nuclear warhead at high altitude over north central Iran. There will be with no blast or radiation effects on the ground. Or they may employ a variant of the U.S. Counter-Electronics High Power Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) weapon that uses directed microwave energy to destroy electric circuits in lieu of explosives or nuclear weapons.
An electromagnetic pulse occurs following a nuclear weapon exploded at a high altitude creating a very strong electrical field that can overwhelm all electronics and knocking out or seriously damaging any electronic devices connected to power sources or antennas, including communications equipment, computers, electrical appliances, automobile and aircraft ignitions systems. The EMP attacks will destroy or disrupt many of the electronic circuits integral to modern society such as communication, transportation, water and sewage systems, oil refineries and nearly all modern equipment that relies on electronic or computer circuits. The impact of such an attack will totally paralyze the Iranian power infrastructure, food, banking systems, emergency services, aeronautic communications, government services, all satellite communication including radio and TV, cell phones, nuclear reactors, command-and-control systems; research-and-development facilities.
An EMP attack has the potential to decimate Iran’s electrical and technological infrastructure effectively sending the country back to the 19th Century. Many eelectrical components affected by an EMP attack cannot be repaired and must be replaced. The uranium enrichment centrifuges in Fordo, Natanz and all other facilities necessary to Iran’s nuclear program would essentially freeze for decades. This would include Iran’s command and control capabilities and its ability to launch ballistic missiles in retaliation of a pre-emptive Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. An Israeli EMP attack also would effectively halt Iran’s ability to launch its forces to block the Strait of Hormuz, which the Islamic republic has threatened to do if it is attacked, along with targeting a number of U.S. military facilities in the region, as well as Israel.
After the first wave of attacks the U. S. “Blue and White” radar satellite will pass over Iran to evaluate the level of damage done to the targets of the initial wave. The satellite’s data will be transferred directly to Israeli war planes covertly making their way toward Iran. Armed with sophisticated electronic warfare gear previously unknown to the wider public and not even revealed to the U.S., the attacking planes will be invisible to Iranian air defenses. This wave will attack a short-list of targets requiring further assault including Shihab 3 and Sejil ballistic missile silos, storage tanks for chemical components of rocket fuel, industrial facilities for producing missile control systems, centrifuge production plants and similar targets.
In the next part of this article we will examine the blowback to Israel’s attack on Iran. The rage of the Muslims surrounding Israel will know no bounds leading to what I believe will be the pre-Tribulation wars described in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 and 39. Due to the effectiveness of the Israeli attack, the Iranians will be unable to respond militarily – at least initially. Instead, they will launch a proxy war using their terrorist surrogates and allies in Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians territories. The Rapture may occur during or shortly after either of these wars. When we see the attack on Iran we should buckle our Rapture seat belts because the events to follow will occur quickly. Even though only the Father knows the timing of the Rapture, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matt. 24:36), we can know the season and I believe that a sure seasonal sign that our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) is imminent will be the attack on Iran.
Dean T. Olson, Omaha