Extremist Charged With Plot to Blow Up Amazon Data Centers

Extremist Charged With Plot to Blow Up Amazon Data Centers

In the days after the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, one man struck an alarming note on the MyMilitia.com message board. “I’m not a dumbass suicide bomber,” he posted under the handle Dionysus. But he would “happily die a young man knowing that I didn’t allow the evils in this world to continue unjustly treating my fellow Americans so disrespectfully.” Over the following months, prosecutors say, that man, whose real name was Seth Pendley, focused his anger at Amazon, concocting a plot to destroy an Amazon Web Services data centers in Northern Virginia with C-4 plastic explosives. 


The Federal Bureau of Investigation took Pendley, 28, into custody on Thursday; court documents say that he admitted to orchestrating the plan at the time of his arrest. The case offers another unsettling revelation into how the increasingly heated rhetoric from the far-right has translated into real-world threats. How did Dionysus want his “little experiment” to end, another MyMilitia.com member asked? “Death.” 


Pendley’s posts came at a time when Amazon was under intense scrutiny from the far-right. The company announced on January 9 that it would cut ties with Parler, the “free speech” social network that had become a haven for harassment and extremism and hosted many participants in the January 6 attack. “Sounds like war,” wrote one Parler member in a post spotted by Buzzfeed News editor John Paczkowski. “It would be a pity if someone with explosives training were to pay a visit to some AWS data centers - the locations of which are public knowledge.” 

Two days later, Insider reported that an AWS executive sent a memo to ..