Pair charged in alleged neo-Nazi plot to 'completely destroy' Baltimore by bringing down power grid

  • In US
  • 2023-02-07 06:59:50Z
  • By The Week

Federal prosecutors in Baltimore on Monday announced the arrest of two neo-Nazis who allegedly planned to knock out Baltimore's power grid in an attack motivated by racial bias. An FBI informant had recorded conversations with the two defendants, Brandon Russell and Sarah Clendaniel, starting when they were in separate prisons in Florida and Maryland, respectively.

Russell, 27, is a founding member of the Atomwaffen Division neo-Nazi group. He met Clendaniel, 34, while in prison. They face up to 20 years on charges of conspiring to destroy an energy facility.

White supremacists and other far-right extremist groups have been increasingly "laser-focused on conducting attacks on the energy sector during the last six years as a pretext for the anticipated collapse of American government and society," accord to a report released in September by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

Recent unsolved attacks on the power grid in North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington State highlighted the vulnerability of substations and other weak links in the electrical grid.

In Baltimore, Clendaniel said she wanted to "completely lay this city to waste," FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Sobocinski said at Monday's news conference. Clendaniel said that shooting five specific power substations in a ring around Baltimore would "completely destroy this whole city" by setting off a cascade of power failures that would cause chaos and civil unrest, according to a criminal complaint. "If we can pull off what I'm hoping, " she told the FBI informant on Jan. 29, "this would be legendary."

"Russell provided instructions and location information," Sobocinski said at a news conference. He advised Clendaniel to carry out an attack "when there is greatest strain on the grid," like "when everyone is using electricity to either heat or cool their homes," the complaint says.

Russell was sent to prison for five years after police found bombmaking materials in his apartment in 2018, after one of his roommates murdered two other Atomwaffen members amid an alleged plot to attack nuclear plants and power lines.

Lanette Clendaniel, Sarah Clendaniel's mother, told The Washington Post that her daughter got involved with neo-Nazis in the prison system. "She didn't really get into that crap until she was in prison," she said. Sarah Clendaniel told the informant she wanted "to accomplish something worthwhile" before dying of kidney disease in the next few months, the complain said, and referenced Hitler and other white supremacist murderers in a statement pledging to "sacrifice **everything** for my people."

You may also like

7 cartoons about gun violence in America

The U.S. economy is shifting toward disinflation. Here's why that's 'most welcome.'

United States shoots down Chinese spy balloon over Atlantic Ocean


More Related News

Federal appeals court weighs whether to force Donald Trump
Federal appeals court weighs whether to force Donald Trump's lawyer to testify in investigation of classified records: reports

A federal appeals court is weighing whether to force Donald Trump's lawyer to testify about classified records found at Mar-a-Lago, reports say.

Capitol Fax: Paying for political privileges
Capitol Fax: Paying for political privileges
  • US
  • 2023-03-22 11:32:13Z

Rich Miller's Capitol Fax: Paying for political privileges

Matt Borges busted the
Matt Borges busted the 'Bexley bubble' with his conviction. Time folks faced it | Opinion
  • US
  • 2023-03-21 10:20:04Z

There are those who are rightfully concerned about Borges' family in Bexley, but they must also realize that Borges is responsible for his own actions...

D.A. saw case against Trump as potentially "charge ready" years ago
D.A. saw case against Trump as potentially "charge ready" years ago
  • US
  • 2023-03-20 23:11:00Z

In a 2020 interview with CBS News, Alvin Bragg​​, then a Democratic candidate for Manhattan district attorney, shared some thoughts about the probe into then...

Trump indictment would be unprecedented moment in US history
Trump indictment would be unprecedented moment in US history
  • World
  • 2023-03-20 21:37:57Z

The decision whether to indict former President Donald Trump over hush-money payments made on his behalf during his 2016 presidential campaign lies in the...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US