Feds Link Attack on North Carolina Substations to Attacks on Oregon, Washington Power Stations

AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker

The attack on two substations in Moore County, North Carolina, appears to be related to similar attacks on substations in Oregon and Washington.

NewsNation obtained a federal law enforcement memo warning “Power stations in Oregon and Washington have reported physical attacks on substations using hand tools, arson, firearms, and metal chains possibly in response to an online call for attacks on critical infrastructure.” The intelligence memo is from an unnamed federal agency, but Homeland Security has been sending out warnings for months about attacks on “critical infrastructure.”


In November, another substation was attacked in North Carolina.  Jones County sheriff’s deputies reported that criminal vandalism had caused 12,000 people to lose power for days.


In another instance back in February, the Department of Justice secured guilty pleas from three men accused of plotting to shoot substations across the country with powerful rifles.

Federal officials said the defendants were white supremacists and planned to cause millions in damage and social unrest.

Federal authorities have warned of domestic terrorism-related threats to critical infrastructure for years. The Department of Homeland Security renewed that concern in a terrorism alert bulletin issued publicly on Nov. 3

“In recent attacks, criminal actors bypassed security by cutting the fence links, lighting nearby fires, shooting equipment from a distance or throwing objects over the fence and onto equipment,” the memo said.

Related: Senate Report on Domestic Terrorism Names White Supremacy As the Chief Problem

NewsNation has obtained documents from Duke Energy — the same company affected by the North Carolina attacks — showing evidence of at least six other “intrusions” at Duke Energy substations in Florida.


You have to wonder if these electric companies across the country are reporting the incidents or sitting on them to avoid panicking their customers.

I’m not sure there’s a solid enough link to the attacks in Washington and Oregon to connect them to North Carolina — unless the Feds have additional information, which is more than possible. But if it is an organized plot to attack the power grid, wouldn’t an all-out assault on as many substations as possible make more sense? If the goal is to cause chaos, that would certainly be more effective than these scattershot attacks we’ve seen.

Nevertheless, DHS issued a bulletin on Nov. 30 warning of threats against infrastructure.


A bulletin dated Nov. 30 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Terrorism Advisory System indicates the agency warned the country of heightened threats to critical infrastructure just three days before the attack in Moore County.

The warning came after targeted attacks on the LGBTQIA+ community, most recently a November shooting at a bar in Colorado, but also cited the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks at the U.S. Capitol.

“Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media and perceived ideological opponents,” according to the bulletin.


Hardening these substations is necessarily difficult because there are so many of them — 55,000 in the United States. Many are in remote areas. But if the terrorists know where they are, they could really wreak havoc on America’s power grid.


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