The FBI arrested Georgia militiamen attempting to buy pipe bombs and thermite. The federal agents stated during a court hearing on Friday that the men had a sophisticated terror plot aimed at taking down the power grid and water treatment plants.
An FBI representative stated that if the northern Georgia militia members had not been caught trying to buy the pipe bombs and thermite from an undercover agent, they would likely have successfully attacked the power grid and water plants. Thermite grenades are military-grade weapons commonly used to destroy equipment, weapons systems, and vehicles.
The northern Georgia militiamen had reportedly been chatting online about striking out against federal government agencies and scheduled a meeting with an individual in Cartersville to buy the pipe bombs and thermite needed for the homegrown terrorism attacks.
Two of the three militia members were arrested at the meeting. A release from the US Attorneys Officer for the Northern District of Georgia noted that Cory Williamson, 28, and Brian Cannon, 36, appeared in federal court on Friday for bond and preliminary hearings. Williamson and Cannon reportedly face federal charges of conspiring to receive and possess unregistered destructive devices. Terry Peace, 45, is scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday.
The federal indictment also stated that the Georgia militia members allegedly wanted to garner the pipe bombs and thermite as part of an expansive militia operation against multiple federal agencies, the power grid, water treatment plants, and other pieces of vital infrastructure. The terror plot was supposedly designed to incite other militia groups around the country to rise up against the federal government, according to the FBI.
US Attorney Sally Yates had this to say about the Georgia militia plot against the federal government during a phone interview with the Associated Press:
"You can see that the plans that they had are really scary. There's no indication that they would not have been successful, and that's not the kind of thing where we can wait and see."
A different FBI agent that chatted with Cannon the same day was reportedly told by the terrorism suspect that the Georgia militia wanted to "start a fight" with the government by sabotaging water treatment plants, multiple sections of the power grid, and transfer stations in order to create "mass hysteria." Cannon allegedly felt that such mega chaos would prompt President Obama and the federal government to declare martial law, which would push other militia groups to join in the fight.
The FBI agent who talked with Cannon had this to say about the terror plot against the power in a statement to the court:
"Cannon claimed too many militias were in a defensive mode and in order to get them out of the defensive posture, actions would have to take place to force martial law to be declared. Cannon also said he wanted to recruit militia members from other parts of the country to join these missions."