Woman Admits To Plotting An Attack On Baltimore’s Electrical Grid

High voltage power grid, in the sunset

(NewsReady.com) – There have been multiple attacks on power grids over the last couple of years. Authorities have uncovered other plots against the infrastructure as well. A Maryland woman has now pleaded guilty to conspiring with a neo-Nazi to carry out another attack.

On May 14, the Department of Justice announced Sarah Beth Clendaniel pleaded guilty to conspiring to destroy or damage electrical facilities in Baltimore. According to the press release, the 36-year-old became friends with Brandon C. Russell, of Florida, in 2018. The two believed in a white supremacist ideology called “accelerationism.” That means that they think there’s no way to fix the current system, so violence is necessary to force a government and societal collapse.

From December 2022 to February 2023, Russell and Clendaniel conspired with others to destroy or damage electric facilities and disrupt the Baltimore power grid. Clendaniel admitted that she used encrypted messaging to plan the attacks on the energy facilities.

A confidential source told authorities that they had a discussion with Russell about a plan to attack an electric substation in January 2023. Russell intended to work with Clendaniel to have a larger impact by hitting multiple substations at the same time. Clemdaniel reached out to the confidential source and said she supported the plan.

Clendaniel asked the confidential source to purchase a rifle for her because she was a felon and couldn’t do it herself. She said she needed it in the next couple of weeks because she wanted to “accomplish something worthwhile.”

The defendant intended to use the rifle to carry out attacks on five substations. Clendaniel said there was a “ring” of electric substations around Baltimore, and if they hit multiple in the same day, they could “destroy this whole city.” She said they would have to shoot the cores about five times to destroy them.

Police eventually searched Clendaniel’s property and found multiple weapons and ammunition. She pleaded guilty to felony possession of weapons charges, too, and is facing decades in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for September 3.

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