‘Completely destroy this whole city’: Neo-Nazi leader’s girlfriend admits role in plot to attack Baltimore’s energy grid

Sarah Clendaniel

Neo-Nazi Sarah Clendaniel, left, stands accused of trying to “completely destroy” Baltimore with an attack on power stations. (Photos via DOJ)

The woman accused of plotting with the white supremacist leader of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen to attack energy grids around the majority-Black area of Baltimore has pleaded guilty and admitted she conspired to carry out “hate-fueled” attacks on critical infrastructure that would deliver maximum impact to “completely destroy” cities in Maryland.

Sarah Clendaniel of Catonsville, Maryland, entered her guilty plea on Tuesday, more than a year after her February 2023 arrest. Her co-defendant, boyfriend and leader of an Atomwaffen chapter, Brandon Russell, awaits trial. As Law&Crime previously reported, Russell had recently completed a 60-month sentence for possessing an unregistered destructive device and improper storage of explosive materials when he was indicted in the grid attack plot last year.

In a statement from the U.S. Justice Department, prosecutors said the group’s white supremacist ideology advocates a concept known as “accelerationism,” or the belief that things as they stand in society are totally irreparable politically and “violent action is necessary to precipitate societal and government collapse.” Atomwaffen has been declared a terrorist organization in the United Kingdom and generally targets racial minority groups and members of the LGBT community.

Clendaniel could face up to 20 years in prison for the conspiracy charge and 15 years on a felony gun charge. She will be sentenced on Sept. 3.

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