February 21, 2019 02:42 PM
The Coast Guard lieutenant federal authorities say concocted a white supremacist-fueled plot to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country" has been ordered to be held without bail.
According to court documents unsealed this week, Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested Friday on gun and drug possession charges.
But prosecutors said that was "the proverbial tip of the iceberg," pointing to rantings against liberal ideology and a target list that included Minnesota freshman Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, House Speaker Nanci Pelosi, figures from CNN and MSNBC and a number of other members of Congress.
He also allegedly made "thousands" of visits to pro-Russian, neo-fascist and neo-Nazi web pages.
"I'm thankful to the authorities who worked on this case and grateful no one was hurt," Omar said in a statement Wednesday night. "As a nation, we must confront the alarming rise in violent extremism."
To dispel the possibility that the rantings were words without threat, prosecutors filed a picture in court documents showing a major arsenal of 15 firearms, both handguns and military-style rifles, and ammunition boxes packed with more than 1,000 rounds.
"The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect government conduct," prosecutors said in a memo begging a judge to keep Lt. Hasson detained.
On Thursday, Lt. Hasson was ordered held without bail on drug and gun charges while prosecutors gather evidence to support more serious charges involving what they portrayed as a domestic terror plot by a man who espoused white-supremacist views.
Hoping to head off any chance of release, prosecutors filed a 15-page memo Tuesday laying out the stunning extent of the plot.
Among the details are that Lt. Hasson allegedly wrote a letter to a "known American neo-Nazi leader" saying he himself has been a "White Nationalist" for more than 30 years, and has been an advocate of "a little focused violence" to further creation of a white homeland.
Prosecutors pointedly said the letter was crafted seven weeks after the August 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In another writing the lieutenant reportedly wondered whether anthrax, botulism or Spanish flu would be a better way to pursue mass murder.
"I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth," he mused.
Lt. Hasson is also said to have showed a deep devotion to the writings of Anders Breivik, a Norwegian terrorist whose two attacks led to the death of 77 people.
From early 2017 onward, Breivik's massive manifesto detailing his own preparations for his attacks served as a roadmap for Lt. Hasson, authorities said.
According to the order for detention in the matter, "Breivik posited that unbridled Muslim immigration would bring the collapse of Western culture and European Civil War. Therefore, in order to curtail Muslim immigration, Breivik advocated for violent action that would serve as a catalyst for the downfall of Cultural Marxist governments. The suggested targets for violent action were influential "Cultural Marxist" politicians, media personalities, professors, writers/artists, non-governmental leaders, and globalist investors. Breivik advocated for focusing on individuals who did not have armed guards."
The manifesto is alleged to have guided the lieutenant's decisions about amassing firearms, food and disguises, coming up with a target list and even taking steroids to boost aggressiveness in preparation for an attack.
KSTP contributed to this report
Updated: February 21, 2019 02:42 PM
Created: February 20, 2019 08:40 PM
(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)