The Intifada

Work in progress to repair a substation in Moore County, North Carolina. (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.)

Somebody knows who is behind the attacks on the power stations in Moore County, North Carolina, that have left thousands without electricity—but I don’t know, you probably don’t know, nobody in the media knows, and, if the police or intelligence agencies know, they aren’t ready to say yet. The usual advice against uninformed speculation applies here. 

We have seen attacks on power stations from across the political spectrum. The most recent prominent case was that of a white supremacist group whose members planned to carry out attacks very much like the one that was executed in North Carolina—rifle attacks on electrical stations—at several sites across the country. In February, three members of the group were convicted on terrorism-related charges. From the Justice Department:

“The defendants in this case wanted to attack regional power substations and expected the damage would lead to economic distress and civil unrest,” said Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “These individuals wanted to carry out such a plot because of their adherence to racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist views.”

In the Moore County case, law-enforcement sources have reported that more than a dozen shell cases from “high-powered” rifles have been discovered at the scene, though Julie Smith, the communications director for nearby Guilford County who is helping out Moore County during this crisis, declined to say what exactly “high-powered” means in this case. “The investigation is ongoing, so we can’t release those details at this time,” she said.

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