A notorious neo-Nazi and a woman he met in prison have been charged with a racially motivated plot to attack a Maryland power grid.
Brandon Russell, 27, and Sarah Clendaniel, 34, plotted to shoot up five substations that serve the Baltimore area in hopes they "would completely destroy this whole city," reported the Washington Post.
“If we can pull off what I’m hoping, this would be legendary, Cledaniel told a federal informant on Jan. 29.
Russell and Cledaniel met while serving sentences at separate prisons for possessing bombmaking materials and robbing convenience stores with a machete, respectively, and both suspects were on probation when they were arrested again.
Investigators said Russell, a former Florida National Guard member and founder of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen, began speaking to the informant before his release from prison in August 2021, and the plans for the infrastructure attacks started last summer.
Prosecutors say Russell recommended targeting transformers because they are “custom-made and could take almost a year to replace.” He also said the attack would be most effective after a winter storm, “when most people are using max electricity.”
Cledanil told the informant she expected to die soon from kidney disease and hoped "to accomplish something worthwhile," investigators said, and she left a statement referring to Hitler, the Unabomber and a Norwegian mass killer, saying she would "sacrifice everything" for her people.
"It would probably permanently completely lay this city to waste if we could do that successfully," she wrote in the statement.