FBI Arrests Baltimore County Woman For Plotting To Take Town Electrical Grid


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BALTIMORE COUNTY - According to FBI officials, a Baltimore County woman, and a Florida man have been arrested and charged with a conspiracy to take down the Baltimore area electrical grid.

On Monday, local officials and FBI representatives announced that Sarah Beth Clendaniel of Catonsville was part of a plot to destroy energy substations in Reisterstown, Perry Hall, and Norrisville.

According to the FBI, Clendaniel was collaborating with Brandon Russell, a Florida man who, according to the Baltimore Banner, is connected to a neo-Nazi group in Orlando. Officials said both suspects were taken into custody last week.

The FBI described the suspects as "racially or ethnically motivated extremists."

BGE and Exelon released a statement thanking the FBI for its efforts to prevent attacks on the power grid.

"In the last decade, we have increased our level of investment on grid hardening capital projects, and monitoring and surveillance technologies to work to prevent both physical and cyber-attacks," the companies said. "We remain focused on improving the resiliency of the grid by stocking critical back-up equipment while designing a smarter grid that isolates damage and routes power around it. "

Recent attacks on energy substations in other states have raised questions about the vulnerability of these essential systems.

Two months ago, someone opened fire on a substation in North Carolina, leaving more than 40,000 people without power.

In late December, an attack on four substations in Tacoma, Washington, left more than 14,000 residents without power.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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