A Coast Guard officer suspected of drawing up a hit list of top Democrats and network TV journalists spent hours on his work computer researching the words and deeds of infamous bombers and mass shooters while also stockpiling weapons, federal prosecutors said Thursday. (Feb. 21)
A coast guard officer accused of planning a domestic terror attack targeting prominent Democrats was indicted Wednesday on gun and drug charges.
A federal grand jury convened in Maryland indicted Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, for illegally possessing firearm silencers, guns and a controlled substance.
Hasson spent hours on his work computer at the Coast Guard Headquarters researching infamous mass shooters and bombers, according to federal prosecutors, who say he was stockpiling weapons since 2017.
Federal authorities arrested the self-described white nationalist on Feb. 15 and found over 1,000 rounds of ammunition and 15 guns in his apartment. While working on a program to acquire advanced new cutters for the Coast Guard, Hasson used his government computer to research the Virginia Tech gunman and the Unabomber, according to federal prosecutor Jennifer Sykes.
Allegedly expressing extremist views for years, Hasson wrote a hit list of politicians including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to court documents. He also listed CNN’s Van Jones and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and once wrote in an email draft “I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth.”
The government has not charged him with any terrorism-related offenses, but authorities are still gathering evidence, U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said in a statement.
Last week public defender Julie Stelzig said prosecutors made inflammatory accusations against Hasson without proper evidence. She said he doesn’t have a criminal record and described him as a “committed public servant” who has been in the Coast Guard for 28 years.
“It is not a crime to think negative thoughts about people,” she said.
Hasson’s supply of guns, Stelzig added, is “modest, at best” compared to what gun collectors own in other parts of the country.
Court documents say Hasson called for “focused violence” to create a “white homeland.” He also entered Google searches in January, prosecutors said, for “where do most senators live in dc” and “civil war if trump impeached.”
The indictment also charged Hasson with illegally possessing tramadol, an opioid painkiller. An arraignment was not immediately scheduled Wednesday.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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