We previously reported on attacks on four Washington State power substations during Christmas Day. The Tacoma attack knocked out power to over 14,000 homes, businesses and businesses.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department described the attacks as “burglaries” at the time. Meanwhile, NBC jumped straight to “white supremacy”, and “right-wing extremism” as possible motives. This refers to previous attacks in North Carolina as well as unfounded rumors about those.
Two senior law enforcement officials briefed this month said that investigators investigating the North Carolina attacks were looking into online conspiracy theories in order to determine if any of them played a part.
The theory that outages were meant to stop a drag show, “Downtown Divas,” at Sunrise Theater, Southern Pines, North Carolina was the most popular. The Saturday night event was disrupted by anti-LGBTQ protestors.
White supremacists and other right-wing extremists have long wanted to attack America’s power infrastructure, Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, California State University, San Bernardino said in February.
Federal prosecutors stated that three men pleaded guilty to a plot to destroy the electricity grid, create civil unrest, and eventually trigger a war.
In relation to the Washington attacks, two arrests have been made. What is the motive of the attackers? Other businesses are at risk of being robbed.
Matthew Greenwood and Jeremy Crahan were charged with conspiring to damage energy facilities. Greenwood is also facing a separate charge for possessing illegal short-barrelled rifles.
According to court documents Greenwood (32) and Crahan (40), plotted to shut down power at four substations. After being arrested, Greenwood told investigators that the power was still out at the first two facilities. However, the pair entered a local store to steal cash register money.
According to reports, the pair caused damage of approximately $3 million and could face 20 years of imprisonment if convicted. The Hans Grubers, as they were known, were quickly captured.
According to court documents, investigators were able to identify Greenwood and Crahan almost immediately following the attacks. They used cell phone data that allegedly showed the men near all four substations. The court documents also cite surveillance images that showed images of one man and the getaway car.
Despite NBC’s assertions, CNN noted:
Although investigators have warned repeatedly in recent months about a rise of threats to critical infrastructure from anti-government and domestic extremists over the past few months, prosecutors didn’t highlight any connection between the two defendants and any such organization.