Three white supremacists plead guilty to plotting an attack on the power grid to spark a national race war
- The Justice Department nabbed a trio of men who they say were planning to attack electrical systems with machine guns in attempt to sow racial discord
- The men began hatching the plan in fall 2019, after Frost pitched the idea to Cook and others he’d met online
- They admitted to plotting the attack in ‘furtherance of white supremacist ideology… to damage the economy and stoke division,’ a prosecutor said
- The co-conspirators agreed to wear ‘suicide necklaces’ containing fentanyl pills that they agreed they’d ingest if they got caught by police
- Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, Jonathan Allen Frost, 24, and 22-year-old Jackson Matthew Sawall are now facing 15 years behind bars for the scheme
Federal prosecutors have nabbed a trio of white supremacists who planned to attack power grids in a bizarre attempt to stoke racial division that included fentanyl-filled suicide necklaces and assault rifles.
Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, of Columbus, Ohio; Jonathan Allen Frost, 24, of West Lafayette, Indiana; and 22-year-old Jackson Matthew Sawall of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty in a federal court Wednesday for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
The men began hatching the scheme in fall 2019, after Frost pitched the idea to Cook and others he’d met online. Within weeks, they’d recruited others to join them as Cook began circulating a book of recommended reading on neo-Nazism, the Justice Department said.
By the end of that year, Sawall – Cook’s friend – joined on the scheme and began working to orchestrate it. The plan entailed each defendant being assigned individual substations throughout the US that they would attack with rifles, prosecutors said.
Three men pleaded guilty Wednesday to plotting an attack on US power grids in an attempt to stoke racial division. An electrical substation in San Francisco, California is pictured on January 26, 2022
As they discussed their plan, the men reveled about how their actions could cost the government millions and cause widespread unrest in affected regions. They also discussed how their attack could trigger a race war or another depression.
‘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.
Timothy Langan of the FBI’s counterterrorism division added that their motivations were driven by ‘their adherence to racially or ethically motivated extremist views.’
Jackson Matthew Sawall of Oshkosh, Wisconsin and his co-conspirators are now facing 15 years behind jails for the planned scheme
Sawall took a fentanyl pill in an attempt to end his life after being pulled over by police
They began training for the attack in February 2020, when they met in Columbus, Ohio, and Frost equipped Cook with an AR-47, prosecutors said. Together, they headed to a shooting range to practice.
In another odd twist, Frost provided his co-conspirators with ‘suicide necklaces’ during their Ohio meeting. The men were instructed to ingest the fentanyl the necklaces contained after being nabbed by police.
Also in Columbus, the men spray painted a swastika flag under a park bridge captioned ‘join the front.’
Before getting the chance to carry out other ‘propaganda plans’ in Ohio, they were pulled over during a traffic stop.
Their derailed plans prompted to Sawall to swallow his suicide pill, but he survived.
The co-conspirators face a maximum sentence of 15 years behind bars.