Brandon Russell and Sarah Clendaniel were partners in crime until they were served a criminal complaint and charged with conspiracy to damage an energy facility. They are now separated and awaiting their court dates.
Russell and Clendaniel were caught planning the destruction of an energy facility in Baltimore Maryland, most likely with extremist and racist motivations.
The two had been in a relationship according to the FBI and created their own National Socialist Group called “Atomwaffen” that he and his friends were a part of. This stemmed from Russell’s own Nazi beliefs that he admitted to having.
Both have a criminal record and Russell was even charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device in 2018.
That year, one of Rusell’s roommates converted to Islam and then killed two of their other roommates because he said they were making fun of him for being Muslim. During that investigation, authorities found Nazi paraphernalia, an explosive called HMTD, and a picture of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. He pleaded guilty to the charge and served 5 years in prison.
That would not be the last time he would own something highly explosive.
Starting in at least June 2022, according to reporting from an FBI Confidential Human Source (“CHS-1”) in court documents, Russell “has encouraged CHS-1 to carry out attacks against critical infrastructure in furtherance of his RMVE ideology. Homunculus has specifically encouraged CHS-1 to attack electrical substations and has provided guidance on how to cause maximum damage.”
Since then Russell, under the name “Homunculus”, and Clendaniel, using “Nythra88” have communicated with the source and exposed their plans and beliefs to law enforcement. He had even encouraged CHS-1 to read a white supremacist publication.
The two continued to share their plans on attacking the energy facility to create the maximum amount of damage, going into detail about each step of the attack and what weapons to use, to the source.
According to court documents, in late January 2023, “Nythra told CHS-1 during a recorded voice conversation… if they hit a number of them all in the same day, they “would completely destroy this whole city.”
Eventually, the FBI had enough evidence to charge them.
These two will most likely face jail time again, however, the attack on energy facilities seems to be a new problem. In early December, there was an attack on a power grid in North Carolina.
Gunshots were fired at the power grid in Moore County, leaving around 45,000 homes without heat or electricity. There were no arrests made, despite finding around 12 bullet casings at the scene.
These two aren't the only recent attacks. According to CNN “in 2022 there were 25 “actual physical attacks” reported on power facilities across the US.”
These attacks often affect lower-income and certain racial groups in the area, so it is assumed that a lot of them have the same racial motivations. Russell even mentioned the attack in North Carolina to the source, and others believe it may be part of a bigger plan.
The group that Russell and his friends were a part of, according to court documents “...is known to law enforcement to be a US-based racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist (“RMVE”) group with cells in multiple states. The group’s targets have included racial minorities, the Jewish community, the LGBTQ community, the United States Government, journalists, and critical infrastructure. AWD reportedly has international ties.”
Energy attacks could become a more common form of terrorist or extremist attacks on marginalized groups in 2023. Many people may not be aware of the immense amount of economic and societal damage it can cause. For now, two more of them will hopefully be behind bars.
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in