A lieutenant at U.S. Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., is under arrest for weapons violations and stands accused of plotting a major attack and creating a list of targets who are Democrats and media personalities.
In charging documents first posted by George Washington University’s Seamus Hughes and the News4 I-Team, federal prosecutors say 49-year-old Christopher Paul Hasson, of Silver Spring, Maryland, had illegal weapons and was collecting a list of names when he was arrested Friday.
Prosecutors wrote Hasson is a domestic terrorist who “intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country” and must be detained.
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The feds shared images of a firearms stockpile in Hasson’s basement apartment.
They say internet searches show he was targeting top Democrats and created an Excel spreadsheet list of names, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sens. Tim Kaine, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke. The list also included top names in media, like MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough and CNN’s Don Lemon.
Law enforcement sources told NBC News the feds caught on to Hasson because of searches made on his work computer.
He is accused of searching the following phrases on Google the morning of Jan. 17: “what if trump illegally impeached,” “best place in dc to see congress people,” “where in dc to congress people live,” “civil war if trump impeached” and “social democrats usa.”
His search history also included searches for pro-Russian and neo-fascist literature.
Hasson routinely read portions of a manifesto written by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik that prosecutors said instructs would-be assailants to collect firearms, food, disguises and survival tools, court papers said. Breivik, a right-wing extremist, is serving a 21-year sentence for killing 77 people in a 2011 bomb-and-shooting rampage.
Prosecutors allege that Hasson visited thousands of websites that sold guns and researched military tactical manuals on improvised munitions.
In a deleted email subfolder, authorities found a draft by Hasson saying, “I am dreaming of killing almost every last person on the earth. I think a plague would be most successful … Start with biological attacks followed by attack on food supply.”
In a draft of a letter apparently intended for a known white supremacist leader, Hasson identified himself as a white nationalist for more than 30 years who advocated “focused violence” to create a “white homeland,” according to charging documents.
The chief at the federal defender's office in Maryland, which is representing Hasson, declined to comment on the allegations. The Coast Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hasson's arrest. No one answered the door Wednesday at the home address for Hasson listed in public records.
Hasson also is charged with possession of a controlled substance. He appeared to be a chronic user of the opioid painkiller Tramadol and had purchased a flask filled with four ounces of "synthetic urine" online, prosecutors said. Authorities suspect Hasson had purchased fake urine to use in case he was randomly selected for a drug test.
He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt Thursday afternoon.