(WASHINGTON) Four electrical transformers were vandalized Sunday in the northwestern US state of Washington, raising fears of a possible targeted campaign by far-right groups after warnings to that effect earlier issued by federal authorities.
Damage to infrastructure in Pierce County, a southern suburb of Seattle, caused more than 14,000 homes to lose power on Christmas Day, local police said.
An investigation has been launched, but no suspects have been arrested on Sunday. Police detailed in a press release, stressing that they were unable to know whether the attack was coordinated.
On Tuesday, authorities appealed to residents and businesses near the damaged infrastructure to review CCTV footage taken at the time of the attacks.
“If you have any surveillance videos at your home or business, please review them and let us know if you find anything that could help our investigators identify the person(s) responsible,” said a statement from the city’s mayor. Pierce County.
Police said they are aware of similar events elsewhere in Washington state, as well as in Oregon (the northwest) and North Carolina (the southeast).
Federal police also warned in early December of threats against the electrical grid of Tacoma Public Utilities, owner of two of the disruptive infrastructures, according to a news release.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a report last January, citing the Department of Homeland Security, that militants from violent extremist groups have “developed credible, targeted plans to attack electrical infrastructure since at least 2020.”
In early December, nearly 45,000 homes and businesses were plunged into darkness in Moore County, North Carolina, after an armed attack on two electrical transformers.
The attack came a year after the indictment in the same state of five men, alleged members of neo-Nazi and white supremacist conversation groups, accused of plotting attacks on electrical infrastructure.
According to the indictment, they sought to cause “general chaos”, “for the establishment of a state centered on the white race”.
While in the (northern) state of Ohio, three men associated with the neo-Nazi movement pleaded guilty in February to using weapons and explosives to destroy several power plants in various locations.
“Evil thinker. Music scholar. Hipster-friendly communicator. Bacon geek. Amateur internet enthusiast. Introvert.”