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FBI arrests two suspects planning attack on Baltimore power grid

The FBI has arrested two people, foiling a planned attack on Baltimore’s power grid, officials said Monday.

The suspects, Brandon Russell of Florida and Sarah Clendaniel of Maryland, were arrested last week, officials said at a Monday briefing. The FBI said the plot was racist, but did not provide details.

About 62% of Baltimore residents are African American, according to census data.

Russell is the founder of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, which seeks to “accelerate the collapse of civilization”, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that monitors groups that promote racist ideologies.

Clendaniel and Russell planned to bomb several electrical substations in the Baltimore area in an attempt to “completely destroy the entire city”, but, thanks to the actions of law enforcement, they failed to accomplish their plans. , Erek Barron, attorney for the District Court of Maryland, said during a press briefing.

“Defendants were not just planning, but taking action to carry out their threats and achieve their extremist goals,” said Thomas Sobochinsky, who heads the FBI office in Baltimore.

Russell was involved in a plot to carry out attacks on critical infrastructure from at least June 2022 to the present day, officials said.

The arrests follow recent acts of vandalism at electrical substations that led to power outages in several other states, including North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington.

The motives for these attacks are unknown. Sobochinsky said the FBI was not aware of any connection between the two suspects arrested in the alleged plot in Baltimore and attacks on electrical infrastructure elsewhere.

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