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Coast Guard officer linked to terror plan ordered held for 14 days

A federal judge ordered a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-described white nationalist held for 14 more days on drug and weapons charges Thursday while federal authorities weigh other possible charges linked to their contention he planned domestic terrorist attacks on politicians and journalists.

Christopher Paul Hasson of Silver Spring, Maryland, was arrested last week on gun and drug charges and intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” according to court documents filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Maryland.

Hasson, an active member of the Coast Guard, had stockpiled weapons since 2017, the government said, and created a list of targets including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Allegedly expressing extremist views for years, Hasson viewed pro-Russian, neo-fascist and neo-Nazi literature thousands of times from 2017 to 2019. He wrote, “I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth” in an email draft, court documents say.

Authorities said they found 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in Hasson’s apartment. While working as an acquisitions officer in Washington, Hasson routinely read the manifesto by far-right domestic terrorist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 Norwegian citizens in 2011.

In a letter Hasson sent to himself, he called for “focused violence” and said he is a “long-time white nationalist.” 

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“We need a white homeland as Europe seems lost,” the letter, included in court documents, reads. 

After Thursday’s hearing, U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said, “The sheer number and force of the weapons that were recovered from Mr. Hasson’s residence coupled with the disturbing nature of his writing appear to reflect a very significant threat for the safety of our community, particularly given the position of trust that Mr. Hasson held with the U.S. government.”

Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Barry Lane, spokesman for U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, said in a statement that the arrest was part of an investigation led by the Coast Guard.

“An active duty Coast Guard member, stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., was arrested last week on illegal weapons and drug charges as a result of an ongoing investigation led by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, in cooperation with the FBI and Department of Justice. Because this is an open investigation, the Coast Guard has no further details at this time,” Lane said.

To “increase his ability to conduct attacks,” Hasson abused the narcotic tramadol and collected 30 bottles of human growth hormone, according to court documents. 

He allegedly wrote a list of targets Jan. 17 that included prominent Democratic congressional leaders and MSNBC and CNN media personalities. Beyond Pelosi, court documents identified such targets as Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, as well as Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters and Ilhan Omar. Journalists listed included CNN’s Chris Cuomo and MSNBC’s Ari Melber. 

That day, Hasson entered Google searches for “best place in dc to see congress people,” “where do most senators live in dc” and “civil war if trump impeached,” court documents say. 

 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/21/coast-guard-officer-white-nationalist-terror-attack/2940774002/


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