06 Feb Blue Glacier releases report on the Nashville, Tennessee Christmas bombing
Blue Glacier has published its report on the bombing in Nashville, Tennessee that occurred on December 25, 2020. The report includes a discussion on the suspect (Anthony Warner), the bomb’s effects and impacts on the AT&T network hub and beyond, physical vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure, threat outlook, and a red team alternate scenario. Roughly 100 sources were used to write the report. Some of the report’s key judgements:
(Medium Confidence) Anthony Quinn Warner’s December 25, 2020 bomb attack in Nashville, Tennessee, likely does not qualify as terrorism, as there is currently no publicly known evidence of Warner’s desire to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or government.
(High Confidence) Most of the buildings affected by the explosion, including those deemed unsafe for use and occupancy or unsafe due to glass damage, are within 400 feet of the explosion. Several critical infrastructure facilities—including City Hall, the State Capitol, and courts—are within the shelter-in-place zone for a vehicle laden with explosives. The most distant buildings to suffer damage from the explosion appear to be two high-rises about 1,700 feet, or 0.3 miles, from the detonation.
(Medium Confidence) Warner likely intended to minimize civilian casualties, consistent with some past U.S. domestic terrorist groups and some foreign terrorist groups within their native countries. However, it cannot be ruled out that he tried to lure law enforcement personnel to the RV in order to target them with the explosion, rather than to assist in the evacuation.
Critical Infrastructure Impacts and Implications
(High Confidence) The RV detonated adjacent to an AT&T network hub. The disruptive attack immediately revealed vulnerable dependencies among communications service providers, in addition to vulnerable dependencies other critical infrastructure sectors have on the communications sector. Most disrupted appear to be the emergency services, health and healthcare, and transportation sectors. The attack affected various critical infrastructure sectors in five states.
(High Confidence) Warner’s attack highlights the physical vulnerabilities of some critical infrastructure, especially the communications sector. In the near to mid-future, domestic violent extremists, violent militia extremists, and white racially and ethnically-motivated violent extremists most likely pose the highest threat to critical infrastructure, including the communications sector.