Three white supremacists have pleaded guilty to preparing an attack on the power grid to ignite a national race war.
- The Justice Department detained three men who they said planned to attack electrical systems with machine guns in an attempt to sow racial hatred.
- The men began hatching the plan in the fall of 2019 after Frost pitched the idea to Cook and others he met online.
- They admitted that they planned the attack in order to “promote the ideology of white supremacy … in order to damage the economy and stir up divisions,” the prosecutor said.
- The accomplices agreed to wear “suicide necklaces” containing fentanyl pills, which they agreed they would swallow if caught by the police.
- Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, Jonathan Allen Frost, 24, and Jackson Matthew Savall, 22, face 15 years in prison for the scheme.
Federal prosecutors have detained three white supremacists who were planning to attack power grids in a bizarre attempt to stir up racial hatred that included fentanyl-filled suicide necklaces and assault rifles.
Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, Columbus, Ohio; Jonathan Allen Frost, 24, from West Lafayette, Indiana; and Jackson Matthew Savall, 22, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
The men began hatching the scheme in the fall of 2019 after Frost pitched the idea to Cook and others he met online. Within weeks, they recruited others to join them as Cook began distributing a book of recommended literature on neo-Nazism, the Justice Department said.
By the end of that year Savall, a friend of Cook’s, joined the scheme and began working on organizing it. According to prosecutors, the plan called for each defendant to be assigned separate substations across the US, which they would attack with rifles.
On Wednesday, three men pleaded guilty to planning an attack on US power grids to incite racial hatred. An electrical substation in San Francisco, California on January 26, 2022.
As they discussed their plan, the men rejoiced at how their actions could cost the government millions and cause widespread unrest in the affected regions. They also discussed how their attack could spark a race war or another depression.
“These three defendants have confessed to participating in a disturbing white supremacist conspiracy to attack energy facilities to cripple the economy and foment division in our country,” said Assistant Attorney General for Homeland Security Matthew J. Olsen.
Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division added that their motivation was due to “adherence to racially or ethically motivated extremist views.”
Jackson Matthew Savall of Oshkosh, Wisconsin and his associates now face 15 years in prison for the planned scheme.
Savall took a fentanyl tablet in an attempt to kill himself after being stopped by the police.
They began preparations for the attack in February 2020 when they met in Columbus, Ohio and Frost supplied Cook with an AR-47, prosecutors said. Together they went to the shooting range to practice.
In another strange turn of events, Frost provided his accomplices with “suicide necklaces” during their meeting in Ohio. The men were ordered to swallow the fentanyl contained in the necklaces after they were seized by the police.
Also in Columbus, men spray-painted a swastika flag under a park bridge that read “Join the Front.”
Before being able to carry out other “propaganda plans” in Ohio, they were halted during a traffic stop.
Their thwarted plans prompted Savall to swallow a suicide pill, but he survived.
The accomplices face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.