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FBI warns of neo-Nazi plots as attacks on Northwest power grid spike

OPB – “Plots by white supremacists to target electrical infrastructure in the United States have increased dramatically since 2016, according to a report published by the Program on Extremism at The George Washington University in September. “The rise of accelerationist ideology and doctrine during the past decade likely fueled the increased risk of attack plots within white supremacist milieus targeting critical infrastructure, and the energy sector in particular,” according to the report. The U.S. Department of Justice has charged six individuals with a “discernible, tangible connection” to neo-Nazi groups such as Atomwaffen Division and The Base with plots to destroy power lines, even a nuclear reactor, the report states. Other white-supremacist plots have threatened electrical infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest. In 2020 and 2021, federal prosecutors charged five neo-Nazis in connection with conspiracy to damage an energy facility. According to court documents filed by the government, one of the defendants carried a handwritten list of about a dozen locations in Idaho and surrounding states, each housing “a transformer, substation, or other component of the power grid for the Northwest United States, that if destroyed could cause damage” to the grid. The goal, federal prosecutors stated, was “to attack the power grid both for the purpose of creating general chaos and to provide cover and ease of escape in those areas in which they planned to undertake assassinations and other desired operations to further their goal of creating a white ethno-state.”

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