A neo-Nazi leader and his Maryland accomplice were arrested for planning a series of sniper attacks on electrical substations in Baltimore, designed to wreak havoc and destruction in Baltimore. Sarah Beth Clendaniel hoped to “completely destroy this whole city”—which is majority Black and surrounded by white suburbs—and discussed carrying out the attack on five substations around the city during cold weather when it would cause the most disruption.
Clendaniel was collaborating with Brandon Russell, the founder of a Florida neo-Nazi organization. The arrests and charges, announced by federal officials Monday, come amid a recent increase in attacks on grid infrastructure and increased interest among white supremacists in targeting the grid. This focus on the grid by white supremacists should, according to Brian Harrell, who oversaw infrastructure protection for DHS during the previous administration, be considered “domestic terrorism, pure and simple.”(Washington Post $, AP, Baltimore Banner, E&E $, BBC, Tampa Bay Times, CBS, The Independent, CNBC, Daily Beast, Vice, Bloomberg $, Politico Pro $, ABC)