FBI charges neo-Nazi leader in plot to attack Baltimore power grid

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The FBI arrested two people, including a neo-Nazi leader, before they could attack Baltimore’s power grid, officials said on Monday.

The suspects, Brandon Russell from Florida and Sarah Clendaniel from Maryland, were taken into custody last week, officials said in a briefing on Monday. The FBI said the plot was racially motivated but did not provide details. About 62% of Baltimore city residents are Black, according to U.S. Census data.

Russell is a founder of a neo-Nazi group named Atomwaffen Division that works toward “ushering in the collapse of civilization,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks U.S. hate groups.

“Clendaniel and Russell conspired and took steps to shoot multiple electrical substations in the Baltimore area aiming to ‘completely destroy this whole city’, but these plans were stopped,” Erek Barron, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, said in the press briefing.

“The accused were not just talking but taking steps to fulfill their threats and further their extremist goals,” said Thomas Sobocinski, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore office.

From at least June 2022 to the present, Russell conspired to carry out attacks against critical infrastructure, officials said.

Russel provided instruction and location information for the planned attack while Clendaniel felt the plot “will lay this city to waste,” Sobocinski told reporters.

via Reuters

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