Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, may not be tops on most peoples national security threats, but if Councilman Dan Halloran makes it to Congress from the 6th District in Queens, he's vowing to join the official caucus in the House fighting to prevent an EMP attack.
“An electromagnetic pulse would be a truly scary thing,” said Halloran in a statement. “Creative terrorists could use this terrifying method of attack to hurt Americans for generations. As terrorists’ tactics evolve, our defenses must evolve with them to keep our country safe.”
From the councilman's statement on the threat of an EMP attack:
An electromagenetic pulse (EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation caused by a sudden explosion, such as a nuclear detonation. According to EMPACT America, a bi-partisan nonprofit organization concerned with addressing the threat of electromagnetic pulse, “EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.”
It looks like the EMP caucus--based on a quick Google search--could use some additional support. Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona started the group to help get his EMP safeguard legislation passed back in 2011. He appears to have two other members supporting the caucus: Roscoe Bartlett, a Maryland Republican, and Yvette Clarke, a Democrat from Brooklyn.
In case there was any question, the caucus takes the subject of possible EMP attacks very seriously, as does Halloran.
“September 11, 2001 was only eleven years ago. But far too many politicians in Washington have forgotten all about it,” Halloran said in a statement. “Well, I haven’t. When I get to Washington, I will do all I can to protect our City and our country. That includes the potential next generation of terrorist attack methods, which could mean EMP.”