Over the past year, on four separate nights, ten important telecom cables were intentionally cut in Fremont, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Berkeley and San Jose, the FBI announced on Monday.
FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich said it's not clear if the incidents are connected, but the FBI is would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious.
"We are hoping for anybody that has seen anything out of the ordinary," he said. The perpetrators likely wore uniforms to make themselves look like telecom employees, "so even if it looked like normal uniforms, we'd like to hear so we can vet them out."
The FBI's disclosure of the incidents is low key, so as not to alarm, but such purposeful cuts could easy be the work of terrorists. While not the calling card of ISIS, they could be the work of domestic terrorists looking to prove a point.
The first two cuts occurred on July 6th, 2014. Cables were severed in Berkeley and the intersection of Niles Canyon Road and Mission Boulevard in Fremont.
The night after, three additional cuts occurred - one on Niles Canyon Road near Alameda Creek, nearby the previous night's incidents.
Then on February 24th of this year the attacker(s) struck again, cutting fiber optic cables again at each of the same Niles Canyon locations, raising the possibility that the attacks aren't just vandalism but are targeted in some way.
Then last week the attackers struck again on June 8th.
This time a fiber cable was cut near the corner of Danville Boulevard and Rudgear Road in Alamo. Approximately 40 minutes later near Overacker Avenue and Mowry Avenue in Fremont. At 1:38pm the following day, another cable was cut near Jones Road and Parkside Drive in Walnut Creek.
The FBI is also investigating linkages to an April 2013 attack on an electricity substation near San Jose, where attackers shot at electricity transformers and several local fiber optic cables were cut at around the same time.
The attack caused telephone problems for large areas of San Jose and Silicon Valley, raising the possibility that it was targeted at the large tech companies that inhabit the region.
Which makes sense, given a June 2014 investigation by IDG News Service revealed that such attacks have been the single biggest cause of major telecom outages in the United States.