Florida man and Maryland woman are arrested for plotting to attack substations in Baltimore with goal of ‘destroying’ the city: Woman is seen dressed in full tactical gear with swastika insignia and holding a rifle
- Two people have been arrested for plotting an attack on substations across Baltimore with the goal of ‘destroying’ the city
- Sarah Beth Clendaniel, of Maryland, and Brandon Clint Russell, of Florida, face a series of criminal charges for planning to target the city’s energy grid
- The attack is believed to stem from ‘racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist beliefs’
Two people have been arrested for plotting an attack on substations across Baltimore with the goal of ‘destroying’ the city.
Sarah Beth Clendaniel, of Maryland, and Brandon Clint Russell, of Florida, have been charged for allegedly planning to target the city’s energy grid, with the attack believed to be driven by ‘racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist beliefs.’
Their arrest was announced by the FBI and US Attorney’s Office in Baltimore, who said the two extremists planned to bring the city to a standstill.
Clendaniel and Russell now face a litany of criminal charges, including conspiracy to destroy an energy facility, with FBI officials saying that they believe a ‘real threat’ had been thwarted.
Images of the Maryland woman show her dressed in full tactical gear bearing swastika insignia, while Russell is allegedly a well-known neo-Nazi figure. Authorities said the couple have a documented ‘personal as well as online relationship’.
Sarah Beth Clendaniel, pictured, has been seen dressed in full tactical gear with swastika insignia and holding a rifle
The duo planned to target the city’s energy grid, with the attack believed to stem from ‘racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist beliefs’
Clendaniel’s plan was unearthed after she was recorded by an FBI informant revealing the plot to destroy five substations across the city, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent.
She revealed that if she and Russell hit all of their targets in the same day, they believed their plot would ‘destroy this whole city’ and that a ‘good four or five shots through the center of them’ was all it would take.
She further added the attack ‘would probably permanently completely lay this city to waste if we could do that successfully.’
The FBI also obtained a manifesto written by Clendaniel about her plans, where she allegedly references notorious individuals including Hitler and the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
Erek L. Barron, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, said in a statement: ‘This planned attack threatened lives and would have left thousands of Marylanders in the cold and dark.
‘We are united and committed to using every legal means necessary to disrupt violence, including hate-fueled attacks.’
More than 61 percent of Baltimore’s population is black, and authorities believe the attack was a legitimate threat to the city’s 580,000 residents.
Special Agent Thomas J. Sobocinski, of the FBI Baltimore Field Office, said authorities were continuing to look into extremist threats following the arrest.
‘The threat posed by domestic violent extremists is evolving and persistent,’ he said.
‘The FBI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement and private sector partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to the safety of our citizens.
‘The accused were not just talking, but taking steps to fulfill their threats and further their extremist goals.
‘Russell provided instructions and location information. He described attacking the power transformers as the greatest thing somebody can do.
‘Their actions threatened the electricity and heat of our homes, hospitals and businesses.’
Clendaniel reportedly conspired to secure weaponry as part of the extremist plot to leave Baltimore in the dark
The thwarted attack saw the two extremists aim to use numerous weapons to destroy several Baltimore substations instantaneously
The affidavit of the duo’s arrest reportedly revealed that the two defendants were in separate prisons while they first plotted the attack, and they communicated online.
Clendaniel was previously convicted of robbing convenience stores, and Russell served time behind bars for possessing bomb making materials.
The affidavit also alleges that Russell conspired to carry out the attacks due to his ‘racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist beliefs.’
Russell is a founder of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, which plans on ‘ushering in the collapse of civilization’, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Russell plotted to maximize the impact of the planned attack by hitting multiple substations at one time, which he believed would cause a ‘cascading failure’, according to court documents.
He conspired with Clendaniel as the two also sought to secure weapons and identify appropriate substations to carry out the attack.
If convicted, Russell and Clendaniel each face a up to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to damage an energy facility, prosecutors said.
Former Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Brian Harrell told Fox News Digital on Monday that attacks on energy facilities are an attractive target for those who seek to cause maximum damage.
‘The utility sector has a real problem on its hands,’ he said.
‘Power stations are an attractive target and domestic terror groups know that destroying this infrastructure can have a crippling effect on industry, citizens, and local governments.
‘Attacker(s) undoubtedly understand what to shoot at and what assets are the most critical in a substation.
‘It’s difficult to protect all energy assets. This would have an enormous price tag that utility customers would have to pay.’
The thwarted attack comes after a series of other assaults on the nation’s power grid in recent months, although it is unclear whether the incidents are related.
In early December two electrical substations were attacked in North Carolina, which left more than 45,000 homes and businesses without power.
A further attack was later carried out on four substations over Christmas near Tacoma, Washington, which left around 14,000 homes and businesses without power.
Source: Read Full Article
Every fire station in England riddled with discrimination, report says
Trump Indictment LIVE: New York jury brings criminal charges
Donald Trump indicted on criminal charges in New York
Donald Trump arrest LIVE updates: Former US president charged over alleged Stormy Daniels payments
‘Uncle Doug’ Mulray was Australian radio royalty
Ex partner turned 'supergrass' and brought Thomas Cashman to justice
Dutch sex workers protest after UK travellers told to 'stay away'
911 calls reveal terror at Nashville school during attack – The Denver Post