Uh . . . Crap: NYC Mobile Command Center Frantically Googling 'Cobalt-60'
Last night in New York's Chelsea district an explosive device went off that has thus far been described as a "Pressure Cooker Bomb"--similar to what was used in the Boston Marathon bombings. There are currently no reports of fatalities but 29 people were injured. So far, okay--that's not a worst case scenario (although it's pretty bad).
As you may know, we have some contacts pretty deep inside Google and we got in touch with them to see if the analytics team had any perspective on the event that wasn't in the media (CNN was saying a gas-explosion at first, for example). It turns out? They did--and it's not good.
We spoke with our contact in real time as they isolated the Mobile Command Center dispatched to the location.
RealTrueNews: "Can you narrow it down?"
Google-Girl: "It's not easy--there's a lot of activity over the trunk--wait a minute, they have a GETS. I can isolate."
GG: "Government Emergency Telecom Service. Hang on."
GG: [ long silence ] "shit."
GG: "What is Cobalt 60?"
RTN: "Say again?"
GG: "They're googling Cobalt 60. Mexico theft 2013. Milled Cobalt. Medical Cobalt Protocols."
RTN: "What?? That's really . . . that's not good."
GG: "Hold on, they're googling their Mobile Command Center's environmental filtration system."
RTN: "Oh, crap."
GG: "I lost them. Oh, man."
RTN: "What do you mean you lost them? Did they go encrypted? Security?"
GG: "I think they went to Duck-Duck-Go."
Cobalt-60 is an isotope of Cobalt (Atomic number 59) that is used in some medical systems but also in the ultimate 'dirty bomb.' A medical shipment of Cobalt-60 was 'lost' in Mexico in 2013. While it was later reported 'found' (and the reporting said the thieves were probably dead due to radiation poisoning) we've had our doubts.
We also know that the White House has repeatedly cut staffing on WMD response teams and experts in the United States. These specific cuts were authorized under the 'Sequester' but have systematically targeted America's expertise and ability to respond to any kind of nuclear, chemical, or biological event.
Our in-house expert (Lex Icon) has said that if you wanted to create a truly terrifying 'dirty bomb' you would take Cobalt-60, grind or 'mill' it into a fine metallic powder that could be dispersed by the blast, seal it in a metal chamber (like a pressure-cooker), and then detonate it somewhere in an urban area.
The Cobalt-60 would bind with metal and concrete and have a lethal half-life of a little over 5 years.
We hope whatever the team got off of Duck-Duck-Go, it helps.