United States: Vandalism reignites fear of far-right campaign

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ÉUS: Vandalism reignites fear of far-right campaign

A view of Seattle, Washington

Four electrical transformers were vandalized Sunday in Washington state, in the northwestern United States, raising fears of a potential targeted campaign by far-right groups after earlier warnings to this effect issued by federal authorities.

Damage to infrastructure in Pierce County, a southern suburb of Seattle, knocked out power to more than 14,000 homes on Christmas Day, local police reported.

A investigation was opened, but no suspect had been apprehended on Sunday, detailed the police in a press release, ensuring not to be able to know for the moment if he is. whether or not it was a coordinated attack.

Authorities on Tuesday appealed to residents and businesses near damaged infrastructure to review CCTV footage captured at the time of the attacks.

If you have video surveillance at your home or business, please review them and let us know if you find anything that could help our investigators identify the person(s) responsible, a statement from the Pierce County Sheriff said.

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Police said they are aware of similar events elsewhere in Washington state, as well as in Oregon, and North Carolina.

The federal police had also warned in early December of threats against the electrical network of the company Tacoma Public Utilities, owner of two of the sabotaged infrastructures, according to a press release.

Militants from violent extremist groups have developed credible and targeted plans to attack electrical infrastructure since at least 2020, the Department of Homeland Security said in a report last January, quoted by US media.

In early December, some 45,000 homes and businesses were plunged into darkness in Moore County, North Carolina after a gun attack on two electrical transformers.

An attack that came a year after the indictment in the same state of five men, alleged members of white supremacist and neo-Nazi newsgroups, accused of planning attacks on electrical infrastructure.

They sought to cause general chaos, with the aim of creating a state centered on white ethnicity, according to the indictment.

While in Ohio, three men linked to the movement ent neo-Nazis pleaded guilty in February to using guns and explosives to damage several power stations in various locations.

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