A group of white supremacists have sounded the alarm bells with the FBI discussing ways to attack the nation’s power grid in the event President Trump loses re-election, according to an unsealed search warrant affidavit mistakenly obtained by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The three men – described as a 17-year-old from Ohio, a student at Purdue University and a man from Wisconsin – reportedly ended up on FBI radar in late 2019 after a Canadian carrying guns with ” Nazi “and” White Power “Pictures on His Phone Were Barred From Entering the United States
The Canadian then allegedly told US border officials he was trying to visit the Ohio teenager, whom he had met and with whom he was communicating through an encrypted app. In light of some of the content on the Canadian’s phone – including a discussion of getting student loans to facilitate ‘off-grid’ training – his plans raised red flags with federal investigators, who began examining the group he had chatted with.
It was not immediately clear whether federal investigators believed the men were likely to implement any of the schemes they discussed. Details set out in the affidavit paint a picture of a motley group of men from different backgrounds fantasizing about extravagant plans to, as one would have put it, “wreak havoc” across the country. .
An informant reportedly briefed investigators with information about bomb-making and military operations shared by the Ohio teenager online. According to the informant, the teenager had suggested a mission he dubbed “Lights Out”, in which they would form a group of 18 people called “The Front” and shoot at electrical substations.
The teenager’s mother also allegedly forced him to remove several Nazi flags he had in his bedroom, and the affidavit described him as talking about the creation of Nazi cells across the country, similar to the neo-Nazi division. Atomwaffen.
A few months after the group reportedly began discussing their “Lights Out” plans, others were reportedly recruited from online messaging forums, where the rhetoric has turned to extremes: “Martyrdom is the path to death. Valhalla ”, one of the FBI men. exam would have written.
“If you really want a fascist society, I will make the effort to work with you, but the recruitment is long and will not be easy,” the man reportedly told an informant he believed to be a potential recruit.
In February, the Ohio teen reportedly met the other two members of the group as federal agents monitored their every move. The group was believed to be carrying parts to build untraceable assault rifles, and when police stopped their vehicle they spotted parts for an AR-15, two magazines and ammunition, and a Nazi flag, according to the Sentinel Journal.
The teenager was reportedly evicted from his home later that same month and ended up in Tennessee. There, police allegedly confiscated an AR-15 room from him when he was arrested for trespassing at a Home Depot.
It remains unclear whether the group has reconvened or whether it has continued to discuss what authorities have termed “white supremacist extremist” plots.
The search warrant affidavit was filed in March, shortly after the teenager’s trip to Tennessee.
The affidavit was mistakenly unsealed earlier this month and has since been resealed, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, who included it in their search warrant request in the case.
None of the three men named in the affidavit have been charged with a crime, and the investigation is said to be ongoing.
Jennifer Thornton, spokesperson for the Southern Ohio District Attorney’s Office, which is overseeing the case, told the Sentinel Journal that there was “no imminent threat to public safety related to this matter”.
The affidavit identified conspiracy, solicitation to commit a violent crime, distribution of explosives information, destruction of an energy facility, and material support to terrorists as potential crimes subject to investigation. investigation, the Sentinel Journal wrote.
Details of the FBI’s concerns about the group come shortly after a Department of Homeland Security report identified white nationalist violence as “the most persistent and deadly threat in the country.”
“I am particularly concerned about the violent white supremacist extremists who have been exceptionally deadly in their targeted and heinous attacks in recent years,” Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf wrote in the fore- about this report in October.
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