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Officials say Baltimore power grid targeted for attack by Florida neo-Nazi leader

Officials say Baltimore power grid targeted for attack by Florida neo-Nazi leader

A Maryland woman conspired with a Florida neo-Nazi leader to attack several electrical substations in the Baltimore area, authorities said Monday.

The arrest of Sarah Beth Clendaniel, of Baltimore County, was the latest in a series across the country as authorities warned that electrical infrastructure could be a vulnerable target for domestic terrorists. It was not immediately clear Monday whether he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

There was no evidence of conspiracy or any record of damage to local substations.

clendaniel conspiracies Brandon Russell, Recently arrested in Florida for disabling the power grid by shooting substations through “sniper attacks,” saying she wanted to “completely destroy this entire city,” said a criminal complaint Monday. According to. The complaint also included a photo of a female officer, identified as Cladeniel, wearing tactical gear with a swastika and a rifle.

US Attorney Erech Barron praised investigators for disrupting the hate violence.

At a press conference announcing the charges, he said, “When we unite, hate cannot win.”

Authorities declined to specify whether the planned attack was intended to serve a racist motive, but suggested that the defendants may want to focus on their cause.

According to the complaint, Claydeniel was planning to target five substations located in a “ring” around Baltimore, a majority-black city surrounded by mostly white suburban areas.

According to the complaint, Cladeniel told a confidential informant, “If we can do it successfully, it will probably completely ruin this town, permanently.” Authorities said she was living outside the city in nearby Baltimore County.

According to the complaint, Russell has a long history of ties to racist groups and Nazi beliefs, as well as past plans to attack US infrastructure systems. It was also unclear Monday whether he had a lawyer.

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In recent months, there has been growing concern about the security of the country’s power grid from attacks, or threatened attacks.

In Washington State, there were two men arrested last month over allegations that they had vandalized substations weeks earlier, in attacks that left thousands without power around Christmastime. A suspect told officers they did this so they could break into a business and steal money.

a gunman attack in december Thousands of customers were affected by power outages at substations in central North Carolina. Law enforcement officials have said the shooting was targeted, although no arrests have been made. Lawmakers there have proposed legislation to toughen penalties for intentionally damaging utility equipment.

Baltimore Gas & Electric, which controls the local power grid, thanked law enforcement and said Monday that there was no damage to any substations, that service was not disrupted and there is currently no known threat to facilities. .

“The substations are not believed to be targeted by any connection to BGE or Exelon, or because of any specific vulnerability,” BGE said in a news release. “We have a longstanding partnership with law enforcement and state and federal regulators of the grid to secure critical infrastructure; This work is even more important now that threats have increased in recent years.”

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