A Maryland woman conspired with a Florida neo-Nazi leader to carry out an attack on several electrical substations in the Baltimore area, officials say.
The arrest of Sarah Beth Clendaniel, of Baltimore County, is the latest in a series across the country, as authorities warn electrical infrastructure could be a vulnerable target for domestic terrorists.
She conspired with Brandon Russell, recently arrested in Florida, to disable the power grid by shooting out substations via “sniper attacks,” saying she wanted to “completely destroy this whole city,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed today. The complaint also includes a photo of a woman authorities identified as Clendaniel wearing tactical gear that bore a swastika and holding a rifle.
Sarah Beth Clendaniel is charged with conspiracy to destroy an energy facility. She partnered with a man from Florida and planned to hit at least 5 different locations according to the charging documents. https://t.co/bHAIQwvPOX
— Jeff Morgan (@JeffMorganTV) February 6, 2023
US Attorney Erek Barron praises investigators for disrupting hate-fueled violence.
“When we are united, hate cannot win,” he says at a news conference announcing the charges.
Authorities decline to specify how the planned attack was meant to fulfill a racist motive, but suggested the defendants wanted to bring attention to their cause.
Russell has a long history of ties to racist groups and Nazi beliefs, as well as past plans to attack US infrastructure systems, according to the complaint.