Coast Guard sus­pect kept in cus­tody

Lieu­tenant ac­cused of plot­ting ter­ror­ist at­tacks

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Doug Stan­glin and Kristin Lam

A fed­eral judge or­dered a U.S. Coast Guard lieu­tenant and self-de­scribed white na­tion­al­ist held for 14 more days on drug and weapons charges Thurs­day while fed­eral au­thor­i­ties weigh other pos­si­ble charges linked to their con­tention he planned do­mes­tic ter­ror­ist at­tacks on politi­cians and jour­nal­ists.

Christo­pher Paul Has­son of Sil­ver Spring, Mary­land, was ar­rested last week on gun and drug charges and in­tended “to mur­der in­no­cent civil­ians on a scale rarely seen in this coun­try,” ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed Tues­day in the U.S. Dis­trict Court in Mary­land.

Has­son, an ac­tive mem­ber of the Coast Guard, had stock­piled weapons since 2017, the govern­ment said, and cre­ated a list of tar­gets in­clud­ing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Al­legedly ex­press­ing ex­trem­ist views for years, Has­son viewed pro-Rus­sian, neo-fas­cist and neo-Nazi lit­er­a­ture thou­sands of times from 2017 to 2019. He wrote, “I am dream­ing of a way to kill al­most ev­ery last per­son on the earth” in an email draft, court doc­u­ments say.

Au­thor­i­ties said they found 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion in Has­son’s apart­ment. While work­ing as an ac­qui­si­tions of­fi­cer in Wash­ing­ton, Has­son rou­tinely read the man­i­festo by far-right do­mes­tic ter­ror­ist An­ders Breivik, who killed 77 Nor­we­gian ci­ti­zens in 2011.

In a let­ter Has­son sent to him­self, he called for “fo­cused vi­o­lence” and said he is a “long-time white na­tion­al­ist.”

“We need a white home­land as Europe seems lost,” the let­ter, in­cluded in court doc­u­ments, reads.

After Thurs­day’s hear­ing, U.S. At­tor­ney Robert Hur said, “The sheer num­ber and force of the weapons that were re­cov­ered from Mr. Has­son’s res­i­dence cou­pled with the dis­turb­ing na­ture of his writ­ing ap­pear to re­flect a very sig­nif­i­cant threat for the safety of our com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly given the po­si­tion of trust that Mr. Has­son held with the U.S. govern­ment.”

Chief War­rant Of­fi­cer Barry Lane, spokesman for U.S. Coast Guard Head­quar­ters, said in a state­ment that the ar­rest was part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion led by the Coast Guard.

“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 the Coast Guard In­ves­tiga­tive Ser­vice, in co­op­er­a­tion with the FBI and Depart­ment of Jus­tice. Be­cause this is an open in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Coast Guard has no fur­ther de­tails at this time,” Lane said.

To “in­crease his abil­ity to con­duct at­tacks,” Has­son abused the nar­cotic tra­madol and col­lected 30 bot­tles of hu­man growth hor­mone, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

He al­legedly wrote a list of tar­gets Jan. 17 that in­cluded Demo­cratic con­gres­sional lead­ers and MSNBC and CNN me­dia per­son­al­i­ties. Be­yond Pelosi, court doc­u­ments iden­ti­fied such tar­gets as Demo­cratic Sens. Charles Schumer, El­iz­a­beth War­ren, Kirsten Gil­li­brand, Cory Booker and Ka­mala Har­ris, as well as Demo­cratic Reps. Alexan­dria Oca­sioCortez, Max­ine Wa­ters and Il­han Omar. Jour­nal­ists listed in­cluded CNN’s Chris Cuomo and MSNBC’s Ari Mel­ber.

That day, Has­son en­tered Google searches for “best place in dc to see congress peo­ple,” “where do most sen­a­tors live in dc” and “civil war if trump im­peached,” court doc­u­ments say.

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