On February 6, 2023, the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the filing of a federal criminal complaint charging a woman from Catonsville, Maryland, and a man from Orlando, Florida, with conspiracy to destroy an energy facility in Maryland.
The U.S. Attorney stated: “This alleged planned attack threatened lives and would have left thousands of Marylanders in the cold and dark. We are united and committed to using every legal means necessary to disrupt violence, including hate-fueled attacks.”
The U.S. Department of Justice news release states:
As alleged in the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint:
From at least June 2022 to the present, [Name] conspired to carry out attacks against critical infrastructure, specifically electrical substations, in furtherance of [Name’s] racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist beliefs.
[Name] posted links to open-source maps of infrastructure, which included the locations of electrical substations, and he described how a small number of attacks on substations could cause a “cascading failure.” [Name] also discussed maximizing the impact of the planned attack by hitting multiple substations at one time.
A Maryland-based woman identified as [Second name], collaborated on a plan to carry out the attacks. [Second name] conspired to secure a weapon and identified five substations she planned to target. [Second name] allegedly stated that if they hit a number of them all in the same day, they “would completely destroy this whole city,” and that a “good four or five shots through the center of them . . . should make that happen.” She further added, “[i]t would probably permanently completely lay this city to waste if we could do that successfully.”
A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt, and the individuals charged are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
See the US DOJ news release here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/maryland-woman-and-florida-man-face-federal-charges-conspiring-destroy-energy-facilities