Suspects arrested for conspiring to attack Baltimore power grid, officials say

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FBI says Catonsville woman, Florida man conspired to destruct Baltimore powerfulness grid

FBI says Catonsville woman, Florida man conspired to destruct Baltimore powerfulness grid 01:24

Authorities person arrested and charged 2 suspects successful relationship pinch an alleged crippled to onslaught nan powerfulness grid successful Baltimore, Maryland, national investigators and section officials announced connected Monday.

The suspects, who were identified arsenic Sarah Beth Clendaniel, of Maryland, and Brandon Russell, of Florida, are accused of colluding to sprout astatine power substations successful Norrisville, Reisterstown and Perry Hall, CBS Baltimore reported. 

Clendaniel, of Catonsville, Maryland, was allegedly recorded sharing her plans pinch an informant to nan Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to nan news station. Officials judge Clendaniel was collaborating pinch Russell, pinch whom she has a documented "personal arsenic good arsenic online relationship," national authorities said.

Russell has a agelong history of ties to racist groups and Nazi beliefs, arsenic good arsenic past plans to onslaught U.S. infrastructure systems, according to a criminal title revenge successful Maryland territory tribunal past week. Russell is simply a laminitis of a "terroristic neo-Nazi organization" called Atomwaffen Division, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and national officials opportunity that a erstwhile investigation into 1 of his erstwhile roommates — who was arrested and charged 2017 for sidesplitting 2 others who lived pinch them — revealed neo-Nazi paraphernalia, a photograph of nan Oklahoma City bomber arsenic good arsenic explosives that belonged to him. In 2018, Russell was sentenced to 5 years successful situation for having lethal bomb-making materials successful his Florida apartment.

The title besides included a photograph of a female authorities identified arsenic Clendaniel wearing tactical cogwheel and holding a rifle.

#BREAKING: A Catonsville female and Florida man described arsenic "racially and ethnically motivated extremists" are charged pinch colluding to onslaught Baltimore's powerfulness grid by shooting substations successful nan area, nan FBI said.

— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) February 6, 2023

  The FBI said it views nan suspects arsenic "racially aliases ethnically motivated extremists," pinch Russell allegedly giving instructions and location specifications to Clandaniel, while describing nan alleged crippled to onslaught powerfulness transformers successful Baltimore arsenic "the top point personification tin do.

"The accused were not conscionable talking, but taking steps to fulfill their threats and further their extremist goals," said Thomas Sobocinski, typical supplier successful complaint of nan FBI Baltimore section office. 

Clendaniel reportedly said that carrying retired nan attacks arsenic planned "would laic this metropolis to waste," according to Sobocinski. Erek Barron, nan U.S. Attorney for nan District of Maryland, said successful a connection that nan suspects sought to "completely destroy" nan metropolis of Baltimore.

Their arrests travel respective months aft a number of rule enforcement agencies warned of vandalism incidents targeting powerfulness substations successful North Carolina, arsenic good arsenic Washington state, which knocked retired energy for tens of thousands of customers and raised concerns astir nan stableness of nan U.S. powerfulness grid.

Sobocinski noted that while nan FBI is alert of nan comparatively caller attacks connected powerfulness substations successful different states, nan alleged crippled targeting Baltimore's electrical grid does not look to beryllium connected to those incidents, aliases portion of a larger conspiracy. However, while he said location is presently "no indication" that nan alleged crippled was a copycat crime, "the investigation continues."

  • Maryland
  • Baltimore
  • FBI
  • Power Grid

Thanks for reference CBS NEWS.

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