Woman accused of attempting to sabotage train near Bellingham pleads guilty
A Bellingham woman has pleaded guilty for her role in placing a shunt on train tracks as part of a terrorist attack against BNSF railway in Whatcom County.
Another woman who pleaded not guilty is set to go to trial at the end of this month.
The two are accused of placing a shunt on the train track near Bellingham to delay train safety features in November 2020. Police caught them by the tracks near Cliffside Drive when they received an alert from a motion camera.
According to the Bellingham Herald, investigators believe the attack is similar to others that have been happening in Whatcom and Skagit counties to protest the construction of a natural gas pipeline across British Columbia through Indigenous land.
Experts previously said the oil train derailment in December 2020 in Custer, Wash., which happened after a year that had seen dozens of acts of attempted rail sabotage, was also likely sabotage because of the way the train malfunctioned. No one was injured in that derailment, which saw seven of the train’s 108 cars overturn. Five cars caught fire, and 29,000 gallons of crude oil — about the equivalent of what one rail car carries — spilled.