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Coast Guard officer arrested for plotting murder attacks on press, Democrats

Stockpile of weapons and equipment possed by Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson. (U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland/Released)
February 21, 2019

A U.S. Coast Guard officer is suspected of being a domestic terrorist who was plotting to attack and murder members of the press and politicians, authorities said this week.

Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested Friday for illegal gun possession, a charge prosecutors described as the “proverbial tip of the iceberg” after Hasson was discovered with a “hit list” and plot to take out prominent Democratic figures and members of the press, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Among the allegations, prosecutors said Hasson was “bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct,” and said his actions demonstrated that he was a domestic terrorist.

Hasson had compiled a hit list of Democrat targets, which included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, and former chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, John Podesta.

“The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.

At the time of Hasson’s arrest, officials also discovered body armor, and a range of medications intended to “increase his ability to conduct attacks.” He also possessed synthetic urine, which he had purchased online to use in the event of random drug tests.

Hasson is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a judge to decide if he should remain in pretrial confinement. Prosecutors filed a motion for him to remain in confinement.

Hasson carefully crafted his hit list using Excel and internet research he performed over a month.

Investigators combed his computer browsing history and found that he’d been searching terms such as “where do most senators live in dc” and other searches to discover whether or not members of Congress and Supreme Court justices were protected by law enforcement.

Hasson had reportedly stockpiled weapons since 2017, consisting of handguns and rifles, as well as lower receivers so he could assemble firearms without serial numbers or a government paper trail.

Hasson was working in Washington, D.C. at the Coast Guard headquarters as an acquisition officer.

It’s not clear what tipped off authorities, but his arrest was preceded by a joint investigation with the Coast Guard Investigation Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

While Hasson did not receive weapons or tactical training in the Coast Guard, he previously served in the Marine Corps and National Guard.

Hasson was a self-proclaimed “white supremacist” of 30 years, prosecutors said.

Investigators also discovered a trail of white supremacist, neo-Nazi ideology in letters written by Hasson. In one of the letters, he admittedly advocated for “focused violence” and aspirations of a “white homeland.”

He also admitted to being a “skinhead” for 30 years – a period spanning longer than his military career.