Conspiracy theorists and far-right white supremacist groups are “increasingly targeting critical infrastructure to incite fear, disrupt essential services, and cause economic damage with the United States and abroad.” The warning, published in a New York Police Department intelligence report seen by The Intercept, comes after several attacks have already occurred. Conspiracies fueled by the Internet end up attacking Internet infrastructure One of the most notable critical infrastructure attacks of the past few months was that of suicide bomber Anthony Quinn Warner, who blew himself up next to an AT&T facility. However, an FBI investigation said that the Christmas Day bombing appears to have been motivated by paranoia and conspiracy theories, rather than a specific social or political ideology. It is not clear if he meant to target the AT&T building, which was heavily damaged, disrupting services. But the NYPD Intelligence Bureau report, issued on January 20, details other attacks whose motives are more obviously aimed at critical infrastructure.
On December 14, 2020, someone broke into a cellphone tower ground station in Fairview, West Virginia. There, they severed the main power cable and removed the primary and back-up generator batteries. This impacted wireless coverage throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and led to damages of more than $28,000. Five days later, an unidentified individual cut open the perimeter fence of a cell tower site in Decatur, Tennessee, cut fiber optic cables, and damaged equipment. “The destruction led to a significant disruption of service for approximately 12 hours.” The Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence division also warned of a third cell tower attack in New York, not mentioned in the report. The NYPD detailed a neo-Nazi chat group whose “members strongly supported exploiting civil unrest in the United States by attacking the country’s infrastructure,” namely bridges, railways, and electrical grids.

via datacebterdynamics: NYPD warns white supremacists and conspiracy theorists are targeting cell towers, critical infrastructure