It’s no secret that the U.S. energy grid is vulnerable to attack, and intentional damage to power stations around the country has been frustrating authorities. Now, KING 5 News is reporting two arrests connected to a power station attack in the Tacoma, WA. area on Christmas.
According to CNN, “Attacks on the United States’ power grid have been the subject of extremist chatter for some time, notably ticking up in 2020, the same year a 14-page how-to on low tech attacks, including assaulting power grids with guns, circulated amongst extremist communication channels.”
The FBI is still attempting to identify the “domestic violence extremists” who attacked a Moore County, North Carolina substation on Dec. 5th, 2022, leaving 38,000 without power. Investigators determined it was a “targeted attack,” finding damage such as cut fencing at the crime scene.
CNN also reported, “Investigators discovered a four-rotor drone on July 16, 2020, in Pennsylvania recovered from the roof of a power station, according to a DHS bulletin in October 2021.”
FOX News 13 reported, “The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) is investigating burglaries to Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) power stations that caused power outages for thousands of customers throughout the day on Sunday [Christmas Day].
The Sheriff’s Department said suspects targeted four power stations, two TPU and two Puget Sound Energy (PSE). Three attacks occurred in the morning, and one came around 7:20 p.m. when suspects set a substation on fire.
U.S. Attorney Nick Brown commended the FBI for identifying the suspects through correlating detailed cell phone records and surveillance video searches. Following a warrant service, the two suspects, from Puyallup, WA., were charged with “conspiracy to attack energy facilities” (20 years prison possible) and “possession of an unregistered firearm” (10 years prison possible).
The suspects are expected to be held at the Federal Detention Center in Sea-Tac, WA.
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