In a new affidavit that was mistakenly unsealed the FBI alleges that White supremacists plotted to attack power stations in the southeastern U.S. The plot was set up to be fast-tracked if Donald Trump lost his reelection bid an Ohio teenager who shared the plan told federal authorities.
Back in the fall of 2019, the teen was part of a text group with more than a dozen other people. The teen brought up the idea of saving money and buying a ranch where they could freely participate in militant training the affidavit revealed.
The file was filed under seal and accidentally unsealed last week. Information from the documents leaked before the mistake was realized and the document was re-sealed.
The teenager hoped to see the group “operational” by the 2024 election because he believed during that timeline a Democrat could win the White House.
“The timeline for being operational would accelerate if President Trump lost the 2020 election,” according to the affidavit.
Investigators reported that the teen “definitely wanted to be operational for violence, but also activism.” The teen was 17 at the time. He also shared plans with another group about a plot to create a major power outage by shooting rifle rounds into power stations across the southeastern United States. The teen labeled the plot “Lights Out.” The plot was supposed to be carried out in the summer of 2021.
A group member from Texas that attended Purdue University sent the informant a text saying “leaving the power off would wake people up to the harsh reality of life by wreaking havoc across the nation.”
Three people are identified in the affidavit by name and references others who were allegedly communicating with them reports the Associated Press.
In Ohio, federal prosecutors are leading the case. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Ohio, Jennifer Thornton, stated that she could not provide any further information because the investigation is ongoing.
“We want to emphasize that there is no imminent public safety threat related to this matter,” Thornton said.
The affidavit details the fact that the group had “white supremacist ideology.”
They communicated using encrypted messaging applications before the three of them met in person. They recommended reading on white supremacist literature and required a “uniform” to symbolize their commitment. They also discussed making weapons. Reportedly the Ohio teen had a Nazi flag and other white supremacy symbols in his room, which his mother told him to get rid of.
Some of the members in the group stated that they were willing to die for their beliefs. One member allegedly told the teen that “I can say with absolute certainty that I will die for this effort. I swear it on my life.” The teen then replied: “I can say the same,” the court documents showed.
The Wisconsin man also told an undercover FBI employee back in February that the group was interested in taking “direct action” against the system and stated, “If you truly want a fascist society, I will put in the effort to work with you but recruitment is long and not going to be easy.”
The affidavit states that the teen spoke numerous times about creating Nazi militant cells around the country.
Federal authorities opened the investigation after a fourth man from Canada was stopped trying to enter the U.S. The man informed border agents he was going to Ohio to meet the teen. Nazi and white supremacist images were found on his phone.