Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - In Google Play
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - On the App Store
Skip to main content
Tags: justice | department | domestic terrorism | power grids | white supremacists | doj | fbi

DOJ: 3 Plead Guilty in 'White Supremacist' Plot to Attack US Power Grid

the justice department logo with latin verbiage
(Patrick Semansky/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 February 2022 04:43 PM EST

The Justice Department is hailing the bust of a "domestic terrorism plot," as three men pleaded guilty for conspiring to provide material support to attack U.S. power grids "in furtherance of white supremacist ideology."

Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, of Columbus, Ohio; Jonathan Allen Frost, 24, of West Lafayette, Indiana, and of Katy, Texas; and Jackson Matthew Sawall, 22, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

The defendants knew and intended the material support they conspired to provide would be used to prepare for and carry out the federal offense of destroying energy facilities, according to the plea agreements.

"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," Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew G. Olsen wrote in a statement. "The Justice Department is committed to investigating and disrupting such terrorist plots and holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes."

The Biden administration has called domestic terrorism "most urgent terrorism threat the United States faces today" on Biden's first full day in office.

It defined domestic terrorism in the U.S. as: "Activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping."

Republicans have argued the 2020 social justice riots in Democrat-run U.S. cities would have fit that definition. The Biden administration was roundly criticized for a controversial memo targeting parents at school board protests, including a suggestion to deploy FBI investigators and DOJ lawyers to probe and prosecute protests over vaccine and mask mandates at school boards.

This DOJ bust began in fall 2019 as Frost and Cook met in an online chat group, according to according to court documents. Frost shared the idea of attacking a power grid with Cook, and within weeks, the two began efforts to recruit others to join in their plan.

"These defendants conspired to use violence to sow hate, create chaos, and endanger the safety of the American people," U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker for the Southern District of Ohio wrote in a statement. "As this case shows, federal and state law enforcement agencies are dedicated to working together to protect this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division alleges the three were racially motivated extremists.

"The defendants in this case wanted to attack regional power substations and expected the damage would lead to economic distress and civil unrest," Langan wrote in a statement. "These individuals wanted to carry out such a plot because of their adherence to racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist views.

"When individuals move from espousing particular views to planning or committing acts of violence the FBI will investigate and take action to stop their plans. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect our communities."

Cook circulated a book list of readings that promoted the ideology of white supremacy and Neo-Nazism, according to the DOJ. By late 2019, Sawall — a friend of Cook's — joined the conspiracy and assisted Cook with online recruitment efforts, operational security, and organization.

The plan was to attack the substations, or power grids, with powerful rifles, costing the government millions and causing unrest.

Frost also is alleged to have provided Cook and Sawall with suicide necklaces filled with fentanyl, which were to be ingested if they were caught by law enforcement. Both Cook and Sawall were allegedly committed to dying for their cause.

Cook, Frost, and Sawall were each charged with providing material support to terrorism by a bill of information filed Feb. 7. The defendants face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The Justice Department is hailing the bust of a "domestic terrorism plot," as three men pleaded guilty to conspire to provide material support for attack on U.S. power grids "in furtherance of white supremacist ideology."
justice, department, domestic terrorism, power grids, white supremacists, doj, fbi, investigation
Wednesday, 23 February 2022 04:43 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved