Substation Attacks in Washington: Tens of thousands of people in Moore County, North Carolina, where the outage began over the weekend and persists into Wednesday, are still without power, according to a government letter warning of similar physical attacks on substations in Washington and Oregon.
Possibly in response to an online appeal for attacks on key infrastructure, NewsNation has received a federal law enforcement brief saying, “Power stations in Oregon and Washington have reported violent attacks on substations using hand tools, fires, weapons, and metal chains.”
In the document, it is stated that the goal is “to produce widespread power failures with the possible impact of societal disturbance and violent anti-government criminal activity.”
Substation Attacks in Washington
Recently, criminals have “bypassed security fences by cutting the fence links, igniting adjacent fires, shooting equipment from a distance, or hurling things over the fence and onto equipment.
Jones County, North Carolina, sheriff’s deputies said on November 11 that vandalism by criminals was to blame for days of power outages affecting 12,000 residents. The investigation into this incident is ongoing. Thus far, there have been no leads or arrests in that investigation.
An estimated 35,000 people were still without power as of Tuesday, but Duke Energy officials said the final customers were expected to be back up by midnight on Wednesday, a day earlier than the original estimate of Thursday.
.@ENERGY continues to work w/ @DukeEnergy, @FBI, and others as they investigate the attack on NC energy infrastructure this past weekend.
Duke Energy anticipates nearly all customers experiencing related outages should have power restored by late evening.https://t.co/vaXiZLoztS
— Secretary Jennifer Granholm (@SecGranholm) December 7, 2022
The power company reported that numerous pieces of equipment were severely damaged by gunfire and had to be replaced. Crews have received the new machinery and are currently testing and calibrating it for integration with the existing electrical grid.
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At first, only a fraction of a million people will have power restored. Some 45,000 people were without power at the height of the outages on Saturday night and Sunday morning. The Moore County School District will not have classes on Wednesday or Thursday.
Someone fired weapons at power substations, knocking out electricity to thousands, some soldiers and their families, near Fort Bragg, North Carolina:https://t.co/aUk2gyWvvM
— Military Times (@MilitaryTimes) December 5, 2022
Afterwards, a body was discovered at a Moore County residence, but authorities were unable to quickly link the death to the blackouts. The FBI is helping with the investigation into the Saturday night shootings at two substations in Moore County, but authorities have not released any information about a motive, suspects, or arrests.
The outages in Moore County were reported to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, according to Fox News Digital. The Justice Department successfully negotiated guilty pleas from three men in February on charges that they planned to use high-powered weapons to shoot at power substations or grids across the United States.
“.. whoever carried out the attack ‘knew exactly what they were doing.’”
@nytimes $XLU https://t.co/BnLq8pLdJ2
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) December 6, 2022
According to the FBI, the defendants are White supremacists, and the damage will cost the government millions of dollars, cause the power to remain out for months, and provoke civil unrest and maybe a race war, all of which might lead to the next Great Depression.
Jackson Matthew Sawall, 22, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, of Columbus, Ohio; Jonathan Allen Frost, 24, of West Lafayette, Indiana, and Katy, Texas. Every one of them entered a guilty plea on one count of conspiring to supply terrorists with material support.
.@RandolphEMC’s quick thinking and creative solution has restored intermittent power to consumer-members after two Duke Energy transmission substations were damaged by an attack over the weekend. https://t.co/UzqybNnj2s pic.twitter.com/KTqZaipnLz
— NRECA (@NRECANews) December 8, 2022
For many years, federal law enforcement has warned of the dangers posed by domestic terrorists to our nation’s infrastructure.
Public gatherings, religious institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents are all listed as potential targets in a new threat bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security last week.
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