On Wednesday, a U.S. Army veteran was convicted in a terrorist plot to bomb a “White Nationalist” rally in Long Beach, California in April of 2019.
The Department of Justice announced 28-year-old Mark Steven Domingo was found guilty on charges of providing material support to terrorism and attempting to use of a weapon of mass destruction. According to a criminal complaint filed at the time of his arrest, Domingo sought to attack a rally federal prosecutors described as having been organized by a “white nationalist” group and he was arrested with a bomb in his hands.
According to the charging documents, Domingo had been a U.S. Army Infantryman and deployed to Afghanistan from September 10, 2012 to January 16, 2013. Military.com reported Domingo’s military service records indicate he only served in the Army for about 16 months and was demoted and discharged before completing his enlistment for committing an unspecified serious offense.
The charging documents state Domingo had recently converted to Islam and was motivated to carry out the bombings as revenge for March 13, 2019 mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 50 people were killed.
On March 3, 2019 days before the Christchurch shootings, Domingo posted in an online setting, “america needs another vegas event tbh3 something to kick off civil unrest.” Prosecutors said that comment was in reference to the October 1, 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, in which 59 people were killed.
Domingo went on in his March 3, post, saying, “Its not about winning the civil war its about weakening america giving them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world.”
Following the March 13, 2019 Christchurch shooting, prosecutors say Domingo wrote, “I feel like I should make a Christian’s life miserable tomorrow for our fallen bros n sis in new Zealand,” Domingo [. .] maybe a jews life idk4 [. .] they shed our blood [. .] no Muslim should have to experience this, a message needs to be sent.”
In their press statement Wednesday, the DOJ said, “After considering various attacks – including targeting Jewish people, churches, and police officers – Domingo decided to bomb a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach in April 2019.”
In the days leading up to the bombing plot, Domingo purchased several hundred 3½-inch nails to be used as added shrapnel for the bombs.
“Domingo specifically chose those nails because they were long enough to penetrate organs in the human body,” the DOJ stated.
In the leadup to the attack, Domingo and “his confederate” and the undercover informant drove to Long Beach to scout the location he planned to attack.
“While there, Domingo discussed finding the most crowded areas so he could kill the most people,” the DOJ stated. “On April 26, 2019, Domingo received what he thought were two live bombs, but were actually inert explosive devices delivered by an undercover law enforcement officer. He was arrested that same day with one of the bombs in his hands.”
With his conviction, Domingo faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.
He is scheduled to appear in court on November 1.