On Saturday, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested and charged two women in connection with a terrorist plot to sabotage railroad tracks in order to cause a train derailment. According to The New York Times, Ellen Brennan Reiche, 27, and Samantha Frances Brooks, 23, stand accused of placing a shunt on a railroad track in Bellingham, Washington.
In addition to previously working as a deputy field organizer for the Washington State Democratic Party, Reiche is a radical feminist and environmentalist who jointly founded the Bellingham Lesbian Collective. Both ladies also co-hosted the lesbian-oriented podcast The L-World.
The Times also states that an anarchist website stated the purpose of the attacks is to impede an oil pipeline. In its press release, however, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that a shunt can interfere with a train’s electrical signal and cause it to brake abruptly or interrupt its safety signals. The agency’s statement further points out:
“Since January there have been 41 incidents of shunts placed on the BNSF tracks in Whatcom and Skagit counties—causing crossing guards to malfunction, interfering with automatic braking systems, and, in one case, causing the near-derailment of tanks of hazardous chemicals,” said U.S. Attorney Moran. “These crimes endanger our community. I commend the agents from Customs and Border Protection, FBI, BNSF Police, and state and local partners who prioritized stopping this criminal conduct.”
Earlier in the year, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has been investigating similar incidents and, if the terrorists were successful, they would have caused massive damage and other horrendous consequences (including loss of life) resulting from their efforts. When taken into custody, the two women falsely stated they were looking for keys.
The culprits face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000. Hopefully, the arrest and prosecution of these two nihilists will be an example to others that you will eventually get caught and have the book thrown at you. But the end goal of their act ultimately is to contribute to eradicating the use of fossil fuels which is vital to our civilization.
PHOTO CREDIT: An illustration of the Luddites. By Chris Sunde; original uploader was Christopher Sunde at en.wikipedia. – Original unknown, this version from http://www.learnhistory.org.uk/cpp/luddites.htm (archive), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4150391