A U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) lieutenant was arrested and charged with drug and firearms offenses after law enforcement officials claim he was planning a terror campaign aimed at Democratic politicians and journalists, according to a report from NBC.
The lieutenant, 49-year-old Christopher Paul Hasson, was arrested on February 15th, after investigators discovered Hasson had been searching for and reading neo-Nazi literature and other suspicious material on his government-owned computer. Upon searching his home in Silver Springs, Maryland, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and investigators with the USCG found a large cache of ammunition and firearms including assault rifles, bolt-action rifles, pump shotguns, and semi-automatic handguns along with an abundant supply of human growth hormone and other narcotics.
“An active duty Coast Guard member stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., was arrested last week on illegal weapons and drug charges as a result of an ongoing investigation led by Coast Guard Investigation Services, in cooperation with the FBI and the Department of Justice,” wrote USCG Lt. Cmdr. Scott McBride in a statement.
Hasson appears to have been targeting Democratic congressional leaders including Richard Blumenthal, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Ilhan Omar, and Sheila Jackson, reports NBC. He also searched for Beto O’Rourke and John Podesta. His alleged list of potential targets also included media personalities and journalists such as Joe Scarborough, Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, and Van Jones. Investigators claim to have discovered the “target lists” on Hasson’s computer.
I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth,” Hasson reportedly wrote in an email draft. “I think a plague would be most successful but how do I acquire the needed Spanish flu, botulism, anthrax. Not sure yet but will find something.”
Investigators believe Hasson may have been inspired by Norweigan neo-Nazi terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. In 2011, Breivik killed nearly 80 people in two attacks in Norway. According to Stars and Stripes, Hasson was “studying” Breivik’s manifesto, which is about 1,500 pages in length. Hasson also had contact with U.S.-based neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
“I never saw a reason for mass protest or wearing uniforms marching around provoking people with swastikas etc.,” authorities say Hasson wrote in a letter to the organizers of the Charlottesville Unite the Right event in 2017. “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.”
Although Hasson is currently a commissioned officer (O-3) in the Coast Guard, assigned to the service’s headquarters, he also served in both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard, according to Stars and Stripes.