The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning that right-wing extremists and domestic terror groups are busily working on plans to attack the electric transmission infrastructure in order to take down large sections of the U.S. power grid, according to a disturbing new report from The Daily Beast.
A DHS intelligence bulletin issued this week notes:
“DVEs have developed credible, specific plans to attack electricity infrastructure since at least 2020, identifying the electric grid as a particularly attractive target given its interdependency with other infrastructure sectors.”
The threat warning comes amidst the backdrop of continued arrests and prosecution of those connected to the January 6 Capitol insurrection which left five people dead, including a member of the Capitol Police Force.
The head of DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis John Cohen told lawmakers in recent testimony that, nearly one year after the riot on Capitol Hill, the threat landscape from domestic violent extremists “is one of the most complex, volatile, and dynamic that I’ve experienced in my career.”
Such threats go back as far as the 2020 election, when white supremacists talked about “wreaking havoc” on the power grid if Trump lost his bid for a second term in office.
Just last year, four men who had ties to “racially motivated” extremists were charged with conspiracy to disable an energy facility by shooting at an electric substation to set off explosions.
According to intelligence from DHS, the threats are increasing and run the gamut from simple to complex:
Conversations from domestic violent extremists online in recent months have focused on encouraging lone wolf attacks, as well as attempts to inspire individuals with little or no training to go after electric infrastructure—including with firearms, improvised incendiary devices, hammers, and power saws.
Despite these very real threats to our national energy infrastructure, many Republicans continue to downplay what took place on Jan. 6 and have even suggested that the riots were arranged by the FBI in order to entrap those who went to the Capitol that day to protest the election of President Joe Biden.
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