Domestic violent extremists will "likely continue" to plot and encourage physical attacks against electrical infrastructure in the United States, according to a recent Department of Homeland Security intelligence briefing obtained by CNN.
Since at least 2020, domestic extremists have developed credible, specific plans to attack electricity infrastructure, the memo dated January 24 says, noting that these extremist groups have identified the "electric grid as a particularly attractive target given its interdependency with other infrastructure sectors."Absent significant technical knowledge or insider assistance, small-scale attacks are unlikely to cause widespread, multi-state power loss, the intelligence brief notes, but this type of attack may cause physical damage, putting people and operations at risk.
Carrie Cordero, a CNN analyst and Robert M. Gates senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said the intelligence brief is a "positive indication of a really healthy cooperation" between DHS and its private-sector electric security grid partners.
The activities of domestic violent extremists, she said, have "evolved over the last few years."
"This reminds me of the type of threat reporting and analysis that we used to see related to international terrorism," Cordero said.
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