A neo-Nazi serving as a lieutenant in the US Coast Guard has been caught plotting to attack Democratic members of Congress, including US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and well-known media personalities, prosecutors said.
Christopher Hasson intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” they said in a filing to a federal court in Maryland.
Law enforcement officers seized 15 guns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition from his home, prosecutors said, adding that Hasson was a “domestic terrorist” and should be detained.
He was arrested last week on drugs and weapons charges.
Hasson, a fan of the Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, compiled a spreadsheet of apparent targets, including Ocasio-Cortez, US representative Ilhan Omar and TV anchors from CNN and MSNBC, the filing said.
He also searched online for “civil war if Trump impeached” and “what if trump illegally impeached,” investigators said.
The court filing describing Hasson’s plot was first noted by Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of at George Washington University’s program on extremism and a former US counterterrorism official.
Hasson is a US Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran currently posted to Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, investigators said, adding that he had been stockpiling weapons in his cramped basement apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The court filing quoted e-mails recovered from Hasson’s account in which he spoke about “dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the Earth.”
He mused about biological attacks, along with bombings and shootings, it said, adding that he used far-right slogans spread by some supporters of US President Donald Trump, warning that “liberalist/globalist ideology” was destroying white Americans and discussing conspiracies by “((((People))))” — a styling frequently applied online to the names of Jewish people.
Since early 2017, Hasson had “routinely perused” a copy of a manifesto drawn up by Breivik, the Norwegian far-right extremist who killed 77 people in the country in 2011, US investigators said.
He searched the manifesto for references to steroids, which Breivik took in preparation for his massacre, they said, adding that dozens of bottles labelled “HGH” (human growth hormone) were found at Hasson’s home.
He also bought a variety of guns and rounds of ammunition from retailers in several states, spending thousands of dollars on pistols, rifles and other equipment, they said.
Then Hasson “began the process of targeting specific victims,” seeming to follow an instruction by Breivik to identify “cultural Marxist/multiculturalist traitors,” the court filing said.
He searched online for “where do most senators live in dc” and looked into whether members of Congress and US Supreme Court justices had US Secret Service protection.
Prosecutors said that on Jan. 17, Hasson began compiling a spreadsheet of prominent people “consistent with the types of people who Breivik identifies as ‘traitors’ and targets for an attack.”
Many on the list have also been frequent subjects of abuse from Republicans, including Trump.
The list included “poca warren,” which prosecutors said was an apparent reference to US Senator Elizabeth Warren.
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