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Two women face terrorism charges for allegedly placing disruption device on train tracks

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 12/2/2020 Andrew Mark Miller
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Two women have been arrested and charged with an act of terrorism for allegedly placing a device on a train track meant to cause disruption.

Samantha Frances Brooks, 27, and Ellen Brennan Reiche, 23, of Bellingham, Washington, face a charge of "terrorist attack and other violence against a railroad carrier." The news comes after they were allegedly caught placing a device on a railroad track called a “shunt,” which is meant to interfere with any train passing through, according to the Western District of Washington U.S. Attorney's Office.

An FBI task force has been investigating the use of shunts to interfere with electronic safety systems of trains, specifically ones that notify cars of an oncoming train at roadway intersections.

“The shunt is comprised of wire and magnets that are stretched between the tracks, disrupting the systems that indicate a train is on the tracks,” the U.S. attorney's office wrote. “On ten occasions, shunts were placed in areas that disrupt the crossing guards where the tracks cross streets, so vehicles could have tried to cross the tracks unaware of the oncoming train.”

When the first shunts appeared on tracks in January, the antifa group It’s Going Down claimed responsibility, stating that the goal was to “fight against colonial invasion.”

Reiche has reportedly served as a deputy field organizer for Washington State Democrats, and at the time of her arrest, had a sticker on the back of her car that said "Indigenous Land" over a picture of the entire United States. A request for comment from the group was not immediately returned.

Reiche and Brooks appeared in court on Monday and were released until their next scheduled court date in mid-December. If convicted, the two face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Tags: News, Antifa, DOJ, Washington, Train, terrorist attack

Original Author: Andrew Mark Miller

Original Location: Two women face terrorism charges for allegedly placing disruption device on train tracks

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