Conservative pundits and politicians would have us believe that white supremacy is no real issue or threat in or to the United States, despite the fact that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security keep saying it’s America’s greatest threat. Maybe it’s because the strong majority of white conservatives adhere to the “great replacement theory” that appeared to inspire Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron to target and kill Black people at a supermarket last year. Maybe it’s because once you start acknowledging the threat white supremacists pose to the nation you might get led down a critical race theory rabbit hole that causes you to come to glory on the fact that America was founded on white supremacy.
Either way, white supremacist domestic terrorists keep coming out of the woodwork to undermine the white-and-fragile delusions of right-wingers who would rather believe the U.S. is some post-racial utopia now that their inherently racist ideals are becoming less and less popular.
Anyway, the FBI announced Monday that it arrested two Caucasian suspects who allegedly conspired to attack Baltimore, Maryland’s power grid in what the bureau believes was a “racially motivated” plot. And it probably doesn’t help that at least one of the two suspects has ties to an international neo-Nazi group.
According to ABC News, Brandon Russell, of Orlando, Florida, and Sarah Clendaniel, of Catonsville, Maryland, are accused of conspiring to attack multiple energy substations in Baltimore, a city that is just over 60 percent Black. The two “conspired to inflict maximum harm” on the city’s power grid with the aim to “completely destroy” it, according to U.S. Attorney Erek Barron and a top FBI official.
Russell is quoted in court documents saying that attacking power transformers is “the greatest thing somebody can do.” He is accused of providing instructions and location information for the substations he and Clendaniel allegedly sought to target as part of their plot, federal prosecutors said.
Clendaniel allegedly told an FBI confidential source she was “determined” to carry out the attacks aimed at Baltimore’s infrastructure, saying, “It would lay this city to waste.”
“Their actions threatened the electricity and heat of our homes, hospitals and businesses,” said Thomas Sobocinski, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore field office. “The FBI believes this was a real threat.”
Sobocinski said the two suspects “had extremist views” and believed that by conducting the attacks, they would bring further light to their views.
Russel is reportedly the founder of Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group created by members of Iron March, which the Anti-Defamation League describes as “a now-defunct white supremacist discussion forum.” It’s also widely regarded as a right-wing extremist group, which, again, is probably why conservative America would rather refer to it as, “Who?”
In fact, according to CNN, this wasn’t Russel’s first time being accused of plotting to attack energy facilities as authorities say he conspired with his roommates in to attack multiple facilities in Florida. “That alleged plot was revealed during an investigation into the 2017 murder of two of Russell’s roommates by another roommate,” CNN reported.
And that, my friends, is why it’s unwise to ignore domestic terrorist threats just because the suspect looks like the kid next door (to other white people, that is).
America has a white supremacist problem and ignoring it won’t make it go away.
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