Neo-Nazi Couple Arrested Over Alleged Plot to Take Down Baltimore Power Grid

Brandon Russell, one of many alleged co-conspirators, is a founding father of neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division.

A neo-Nazi couple, together with the founding father of extremist terror group Atomwaffen Division, has been arrested and charged by federal officers for an alleged plot to take down the ability grid of Baltimore to “fully destroy” the bulk Black metropolis.

Atomwaffen Division (AWD) founder Brandon Russell and Sarah Clendaniel have been charged by the Justice Department with conspiracy to destroy an power facility. Prosecutors say that their plan was to make use of firearms to assault 5 energy substations round Baltimore; Clendaniel reportedly advised an FBI informant that taking down the stations in fast succession “would completely destroy this entire metropolis.”

Head of the FBI’s Baltimore area workplace Thomas Sobocinski said in a news conference on Monday that Clendaniel and Russell had plotted to inflict “most hurt” to the ability grid and that they had been “not simply speaking, however taking steps to satisfy their threats and additional their extremist targets.” Sobocinski additional stated that the plot was “racially or ethnically motivated.”

The pair had studied publicly accessible details about the ability grid and allegedly plotted to take it down throughout peak utilization after a winter storm, prosecutors stated, by concentrating on transformers which can be more durable to switch.

The FBI has been on heightened alert for such plots as a consequence of latest assaults on energy stations in North Carolina, Oregon and Washington, although the company says there may be at the moment no proof that the incidents are associated. Neo-Nazis and extremist right-wing teams have increasingly identified attacks on power grids as a possible technique to trigger chaos throughout the nation with a purpose to speed up the U.S.’s descent into white supremacy and fascism.

An account linked with Russell just lately despatched details about the North Carolina energy assault to the FBI informant, prosecutors stated.

The FBI has obtained a doc resembling a manifesto, allegedly written by Clendaniel, containing references to Hitler, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Anders Behring Breivik, a neo-Nazi who killed 77 folks in 2011 by bombing the skin of the workplace of the Norwegian prime minister on the time, a member of Norway’s left-leaning Labour Get together, and opening fireplace on a Labour Get together-affiliated youth summer time camp.

The 34 12 months previous stated she was dying of kidney illness and advised the informant that she wished to “accomplish one thing worthwhile.” In her assertion, Clendaniel allegedly wrote, “I’d sacrifice **the whole lot** for my folks.”

Russell is a founding member of Atomwaffen Division, which the Southern Poverty Legislation Middle (SPLC) identifies as a “neo-Nazi accelerationism” group with the aim of destroying the nation and changing it with a white ethnostate. He had allegedly beforehand been plotting to assault the ability grid in Florida — a plot that was unveiled during the investigation into the homicide of two of Russell’s roommates by a fourth roommate who was additionally a member of AWD.

The 2 met whereas incarcerated and had developed their alleged plot whereas in jail. Clendaniel was in jail for a collection of armed robberies in Maryland.Russell was arrested in Florida in 2017 for unlawfully possessing an explosive gadget. He had a variety of explosives, ingredients for explosives, firearms and white supremacist paraphernalia in his possession, and a former AWD member stated at trial that Russell had deliberate to hold out an assault towards a synagogue, energy strains and a nuclear reactor web site.