DHS warns racially motivated extremists 'have developed credible, specific plans to attack electricity infrastructure'
Domestic right-wing extremists have been plotting an attack on the U.S. electric power grid infrastructure, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned in a new report.
According to The Daily Beast, the department has indicated that domestic extremists said to be specifically motivated by racial bias see the country's power grid as a potential target.
“DVEs have developed credible, specific plans to attack electricity infrastructure since at least 2020, identifying the electric grid as a particularly attractive target given its interdependency with other infrastructure sectors,” the alert said.
The latest bulletin comes as DHS officials express concern about lone individuals and small factions posing the greatest threats to the United States. Speaking to a group of reporters, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas detailed the agency's current focus as they work to address potential threats to the nation.
“We are very focused on the lone actor or a loose affiliation of individuals rather than necessarily an organized structure with a set and defined hierarchy, and that's what I think can make the threat so challenging to address. It is that lack — it is the loose affiliation of individuals and the dynamic nature that they present,” Mayorkas said.
Over the last year, DHS officials have released a number of warnings about right-wing extremists as they have become more prevalent with the spread of misinformation. Following the 2020 presidential election, white supremacists groups landed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) radar when they began plotting ways to lodge attacks on the United States' power grid in response to former President Donald Trump losing re-election.
DHS' recent memo was released on Monday, January 24 which was the same day the government agency issued a warning to law enforcement agencies across the country. That bulletin raised concerns about the possibility of Russia launching a cyberattack against the United States.
"We assess that Russia would consider initiating a cyber attack against the Homeland if it perceived a US or NATO response to a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine threatened its long-term national security," the agency said in the bulletin.