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American woman pleads guilty in neo-Nazi plot to attack power grid

Image source, US Department of Justice

Legend, Sarah Clendaniel and an unidentified person in a photo provided by the U.S. Department of Justice

A woman accused of plotting to destroy electrical installations around Baltimore has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and gun charges.

Sarah Clendaniel, of Maryland, was arrested last year with Brandon Russell, founder of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen.

Prosecutors say they plotted to blow up electrical substations, hoping to sow chaos and start a race war.

Clendaniel pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court.

The two men first came into contact while they were both serving prison sentences and began discussing the plan after their release.

Clendaniel, 36, called their plot “legendary” and said the attack would “completely destroy the entire city.”

However, they also discussed their plans with an FBI informant, leading to their arrest.

Russell, 28, founded the Atomwaffen division, which has been linked to several murders, bombings and plots in the United States and other countries.

Image source, US Department of Justice

Legend, Investigators found guns, documents referring to extremists and photos of Clendaniel in tactical gear.

Although experts say it is relatively small, the group has become known for its extreme violence. Members subscribe to a neo-Nazi version of “accelerationist” philosophy – the idea that political goals can be achieved through social collapse.

Neo-Nazi accelerators believe that chaos will lead to race war and that ultimately a whites-only fascist state will emerge. Investigators say they found a document belonging to Clendaniel that was apparently intended to be made public in the event of an attack and that made references to mass murderers and Adolf Hitler.

Atomwaffen or its offshoots have been banned in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

In 2018, Russell was sentenced to prison after being convicted of explosives charges. Police found bomb-making materials and firearms while investigating the killing of two Atomwaffen members during an internal conflict.

He was released in 2021. Around the same time, Clendaniel was serving a prison sentence for armed robbery.

In federal court on Tuesday, Clendaniel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to damage an energy facility, punishable by up to 20 years, and unlawful possession of a firearm, punishable by sentence of up to 15 years.

In a plea agreement, prosecutors said they would recommend that she serve a maximum sentence of 18 years, which must be approved by a judge.

Clendaniel’s guilty plea opens the possibility that she could testify against Russell, whose trial is scheduled for July.

News Source : www.bbc.com
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