Headline RoundupFebruary 6th, 2023

Two Arrested in Maryland as Threats to US Power Grid Continue

AllSides Summary

On Monday, federal authorities charged two people with plotting to attack electrical substations in the Baltimore area. 2022 saw a sharp increase in attacks and planned attacks on the United States power grid, raising security concerns and questions across the country.

Key Quotes: The Department of Homeland Security put out a statement in November categorizing America as being in a “heightened threat environment” due to potential threats from “lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances,” warning, “domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the Homeland.”

Who is behind it? Regarding Monday’s arrest, prosecutors allege one of the individuals arrested, Brandon Clint Russell, a self-professed neo-Nazi, planned the attack to advance his “racially or ethnically motivated extremist beliefs.” An analysis from Insider concluded that “attacks against the electrical grid nationwide are at an all-time high — and experts say the greatest threat comes from right-wing extremists seeking to sow chaos and accelerate the devolution of the social order.”

This was echoed by Jim Geraghty in the National Review (Right Bias) back in December, who quoted the DOJ attributing another attack to a white nationalist group and determined, “just because it may seem like the Justice Department reflexively blames white nationalists and violent anti-government extremists for acts of terrorism doesn’t mean that white nationalists and violent anti-government extremists don’t exist, or that they don’t aim to harm as many people as possible.”

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