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DHS Warned About Electric Power Threats Just Before NC Attack

A shooting that damaged two power substations in North Carolina's Moore County, leaving thousands without power, has been deemed a "targeted" attack, as officials warn of threats to the nationwide infrastructure. A few days before the attack, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin through its National Terrorism Advisory System warning that the “United States remains in a heightened threat environment” and “lone offenders and small groups” may commit acts of violence on various targets, including critical infrastructure, USA Today reports. The bulletin follows a report in January, in which DHS warned that domestic extremists have been developing “credible, specific plans” to attack electricity infrastructure since at least 2020. Extremists “adhering to a range of ideologies will likely continue to plot and encourage physical attacks against electrical infrastructure,” the report warned.

More than 6,400 power plants and 450,000 miles of transmission lines run across the U.S. After the two electrical substations in Moore County were shot up, thousands of utility customers had no power for several days. At the height of the outage, more than 45,000 customers were left in the dark amid freezing temperatures. “It was targeted; it wasn’t random," said Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields. It was the latest of a number threats to the power grid over the last decade. In 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered grid operators to increase security after a sniper attack on a California power substation. The case remains unsolved but caused power outages and millions of people were advised to conserve energy. 


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