How many feds/FBI informants were involved in this plot?
Three young men from Oshkosh, Wisconsin each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists in a plot to attack the US power grids to start a race war, the feds announced on Wednesday.
The Justice Department said the three defendants plotted to attack regional power substations with rifles in an effort to spark a race war and launched an online recruitment effort to assist with their plans.
“According to court documents, Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, of Columbus, Ohio; Jonathan Allen Frost, 24, of West Lafayette, Indiana, and of Katy, Texas; and Jackson Matthew Sawall, 22, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The charge and plea agreements indicate that the defendants knew and intended that the material support they conspired to provide would be used to prepare for and carry out the federal offense of destroying energy facilities.” the DOJ said in a press release.
“These three defendants admitted to engaging in a disturbing plot, in furtherance of white supremacist ideology, to attack energy facilities in order to damage the economy and stoke division in our country,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew G. Olsen. “The Justice Department is committed to investigating and disrupting such terrorist plots and holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes.”
“These defendants conspired to use violence to sow hate, create chaos, and endanger the safety of the American people,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker for the Southern District of Ohio. “As this case shows, federal and state law enforcement agencies are dedicated to working together to protect this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
According to court documents, Frost and Cook met in an online chat group in the Fall of 2019 when Frost shared the idea of attacking the power grids.
By the end of 2019, Cook and Frost recruited Sawall after circulating books on white supremacy and neo-Nazism.
“As part of the conspiracy, each defendant was assigned a substation in a different region of the United States. The plan was to attack the substations, or power grids, with powerful rifles. The defendants believed their plan would cost the government millions of dollars and cause unrest for Americans in the region. They had conversations about how the possibility of the power being out for many months could cause war, even a race war, and induce the next Great Depression.” the DOJ said.
According to the feds, the three defendants were ready to die for their cause and Frost provided Cook and Sawall with ‘suicide necklaces’ during their meeting in Columbus, Ohio in early 2020.
The suicide necklaces were filled with fentanyl and were to be swallowed if the defendants were ever caught by law enforcement.
At one point Sawall swallowed the fentanyl after a traffic stop in Ohio, but he survived.
“Upon arriving in Columbus, Sawall and Cook purchased spray paint and painted a swastika flag under a bridge at a park with the caption, “Join the Front.” The defendants had additional propaganda plans for their time in Ohio, but they were derailed during a traffic stop, during which Sawall swallowed his suicide pill but ultimately survived.” the DOJ said.
“Court documents detail that Cook and Frost continued to travel together after their Ohio meeting, and drove to Texas in March 2020. Cook stayed in different cities with various juveniles who he was attempting to recruit for their plot.” the DOJ added.
The three defendants each face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
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