Federal prosecutors say US Coast Guard lieutenant plotted ‘massive domestic terror attack’ targeting civilians, politicians, and journalists

  • A US Coast Guard lieutenant, Christopher Paul Hasson, was arrested on Wednesday after authorities found a cache of weapons in his Silver Springs, Maryland, apartment, The Washington Post reported.
  • Federal authorities said these weapons and ammunition, which they said he had been collecting since 2017, were intended for a “massive” terrorist attack aimed at lawmakers and journalists.
  • “The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” court documents say, according to The Post.

A US Coast Guard lieutenant, Christopher Paul Hasson, was arrested on February 15 after authorities found a cache of weapons in his Silver Springs, Maryland, apartment, The Washington Post reported.

Federal authorities said these weapons and ammunition, which they said he had been collecting since 2017, were intended for a “massive” terrorist attack aimed at lawmakers and journalists.

“The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” prosecutors wrote in a motion to detain pending trial.

He was arrested on illegal weapons and drug charges, which the criminal complaint lists as “possession of firearm and ammunition by unlawful user or addict of any controlled substance” and “simple possession of Tramadol, a Schedule IV controlled substance.” INSIDER confirmed that FBI Baltimore special agents and Coast Guard Investigative Service agents were involved in the arrest.

“The current charges, however, are the proverbial tip of the iceberg,” the motion to detain pending trail document says. “The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct.”

Hasson, 49, is a self-described white nationalist, The Post reported, and court documents say he wanted to “establish a white homeland.”

“I never saw a reason for mass protest or wearing uniforms marching around provoking people with swastikas etc.,” Hasson wrote in a letter, which was addressed to a neo-Nazi leader but was sent to himself, according to court documents. “I was and am a man of action you cannot change minds protesting like that. However you can make change with a little focused violence.”

According to the court documents, Hasson stockpiled 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. He also had a spreadsheet of targets, which included Democratic lawmakers and journalists, according to prosecutors.

The court documents say that, “From early 2017 through the date of his arrest, the defendant routinely perused portions of the Breivik manifesto that instruct a prospective assailant to amass appropriate firearms, food, disguises, and survival supplies.” The term, “Breivik” refers to the Norwegian domestic terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in July 2011.

The court documents say that Hasson was following Breivik’s manifesto when putting together his list of targets: “On January 17, 2019, consistent with the types of people who Breivik identifies as ‘traitors’ and targets for an attack, the defendant compiled a list of prominent Democratic Congressional leaders, activists, political organizations, and MSNBC and CNN media personalities.”

Those targets presumably include former US Rep. Joe Scarborough, who now has a show on MSNBC, Don Lemon from CNN, Chris Hayes from MSNBC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and a number of other Democratic lawmakers and cable-news journalists.

In the course of his alleged planning efforts, Hasson also performed the following internet searches on January 17, 2019, the court documents say:

  • 8:54 a.m.: “what if trump illegally impeached”
  • 8:57 a.m.: “best place in dc to see congress people”
  • 8:58 a.m.: “where in dc to congress live”
  • 10:39 a.m.: “civil war if trump impeached”
  • 11:26 a.m.: “social democrats usa.”

Hasson had been working at the US Coast Guard headquarters since 2016.

“An active duty Coast Guard member, stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, 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,” a US Coast Guard representative told INSIDER via email. “Because this is an open investigation, the Coast Guard has no further details at this time.”

According to what a spokesperson told The Post, Hasson no longer works at the headquarters.

Read the full criminal complaint against Hasson here:

Christopher Paul HassonCri… by onScribd