Neo-Nazi leader among 2 arrested in plot targeting Baltimore's power grid, feds say

Trending 7 months ago

The FBI captured 2 people, 1 a nationally known neo-Nazi leader, earlier they could motorboat an onslaught connected Baltimore's powerfulness grid that could "completely destruct this full city," authorities said Monday.

The suspects, Brandon Russell and Sarah Clendaniel, were taken into custody past week, successful Florida and Maryland, respectively, officials said.

Federal authorities described nan alleged crippled arsenic “racially aliases ethnically motivated.” More than 61% of Baltimore residents are Black.

Russell is simply a laminitis of nan Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group bent connected "ushering successful nan illness of civilization," according to nan Southern Poverty Law Center. The group admires Charles Manson and supports "the thought of lone wolf violence," according to nan Anti-Defamation League.

Sarah ClendanielSarah Clendaniel is simply a fishy successful an alleged crippled to onslaught Baltimore's powerfulness grid.NBC News

The alleged crippled was first flagged successful June of past twelvemonth aft an FBI informant claimed to person been contacted by Russell, who wanted "to onslaught electrical substations and has provided guidance connected really to origin maximum damage," according to nan criminal title revenge agaisnt nan pair.

Russell past connected nan informant pinch Clendaniel, a Maryland resident, to hash retired plans for an onslaught connected stations successful and astir Baltimore, national authorities said.

The brace and informant worked pinch urgency, arsenic Clendaniel said she was terminally sick pinch a kidney ailment "and was improbable to unrecorded much than a fewer months," according to nan criminal complaint.

Clendaniel had 5 stations successful her crosshairs, officials said, successful Norrisville, Reisterstown, and Perry Hall, Maryland, and 2 much "in nan vicinity of Baltimore," nan title said.

Attacks connected each 5 would beryllium a " 'ring' astir Baltimore and if they deed a number of them each successful nan aforesaid day, they 'would wholly destruct this full city,' " Clendaniel allegedly said successful a recorded conversation, nan title revealed.

Thomas J. Sobocinski, typical supplier successful complaint of nan FBI's Baltimore office, said nan suspects were superior successful their efforts aimed astatine paralyzing nan city of 580,000.

"The accused were not conscionable talking, but taking steps to fulfill their threats and further their extremist goals. Russell provided instructions and location information. He described attacking nan powerfulness transformers arsenic nan top point personification tin do," Sobocinski said.

"Their actions threatened nan energy and power of our homes, hospitals and businesses.”

Attacks connected nan nation's powerfulness grid came into attraction successful December, pursuing 2 high-profile incidents.

There were shootings astatine 2 electrical substations in cardinal North Carolina successful early December, officials said. At nan highest of Duke Energy outages, much than 45,000 homes and businesses were successful nan dark.

That incident was followed by attacks astatine four energy substations connected Christmas play adjacent Tacoma, Washington, arsenic astir 14,000 homes and businesses were forced to do without power, officials said.

This is simply a processing story. Please cheque backmost for updates.

Michael Kosnar

Michael Kosnar is a Justice Department shaper for nan NBC News Washington Bureau.

David K. Li

David K. Li is simply a elder breaking news newsman for NBC News Digital.