Two neo-Nazis were arrested for threatening to attack electrical substations to “destroy” Baltimore. A “Boogaloo Boi” was arrested in Missouri for having a bunch of guns. And a Marine was promoted to a top intelligence job after being at the Jan. 6 insurrection (he’s since been arrested).
Plus: The FBI’s hate crime statistics are “worse than useless,” yet a Congressional committee chairman claims the Bureau inflates the issue of domestic extremism.
It’s the week in extremism.
‘Hate-fueled attacks’ planned on power stations
A well-known neo-Nazi and his alleged accomplice were arrested last week and appeared in court Monday charged with plotting to attack power substations in Baltimore. Brandon Russell, who founded the white supremacist group Atomwaffen Division, had recently been released from prison where he served three years for explosives charges.
White supremacist was FBI informant:He publishes books on satanism and torture to inspire neo-Nazis. The FBI has paid him $140,000
Neo-Nazis arrested for plot:Neo-Nazi, woman accused of plotting ‘hate-fueled attacks’ on power stations, federal complaint says
- The arrests come as the FBI has been warning of increased attacks on the nation’s power grid by extremist groups.
- Why? Attacks like this are a tactic in the playbook of “accelerationist” white supremacists. Accelerationists seek to hasten the demise of western civilization and foment a “race war” by committing acts of terrorism. Atomwaffen was based on this philosophy.
- Deeper: As I reported last year, Atomwaffen was heavily influenced by the writings of Joshua Sutter. Sutter, it turned out, was on the FBI’s payroll.
- Russel’s alleged co-conspirator, Sarah Clendaniel, had also been recently incarcerated. She allegedly said she wanted to “completely destroy this whole city” and was planning to target five substations situated in a “ring” around Baltimore, according to the criminal complaint.
Alleged ‘Boogaloo Boi’ arrested
Federal law enforcement officers arrested a Springfield, Missouri, man in possession of 11 guns, a silencer, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, body armor plates and several pounds of explosives last week. Timothy Zegar appeared in court on Monday and is alleged to be connected to the far-right “Boogaloo” movement.
Down the barrel of a gun:Down the barrel of a gun: How Second Amendment activism can be a gateway to extremist ideologies
- Who? Boogaloo is a leaderless, mainly online phenomenon, driven by a heavy emphasis on memes, iconography and in-jokes. Central to the movement is an anti-federal government ideology, an anticipation of a second civil war and an obsession with firearms.
- Zegar was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Prosecutors allege he was trafficking firearms.
- Deeper: I wrote about how Second Amendment activism can be a pipeline to extremism in 2021.
- Context: The Boogaloo or “Boogaloo Bois” had largely faded away as a movement, but underwent a brief resurgence after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago last year.
Jan. 6 rioter got intelligence role
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the arrests of three active-duty Marines for their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 insurrection. This week, The Intercept had a bombshell report that one of those Marines was transferred to “a highly sensitive intelligence assignment at the headquarters of the National Security Agency” after the insurrection.
- The Marine confessed to his role in the insurrection last summer, but was only arrested in January.
- The Intercept reports: “Sgt. Joshua Abate, a special communication signals analyst, was assigned to the Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion, which acts as a liaison between the Marines and the NSA at Fort Meade. The transfer into the liaison unit after the Capitol riot placed Abate inside one of the most sensitive facilities in the entire U.S. government.”
- Context: As I reported back in 2021, the U.S. military has a significant problem with extremism in the ranks.
Last week in extremism:The sad messages inside Alex Jones’s texts