A US Army veteran who was allegedly plotting a large-scale terror attack near Los Angeles as revenge for the recent mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been arrested, authorities said Monday.
Mark Steven Domingo, 26, who had combat experience in Afghanistan and professed to be Muslim, faces federal terror-related charges for plotting to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) at a white nationalist rally in Long Beach this past weekend with the aim of causing mass casualties, officials said.
Domingo was arrested Friday after receiving what he thought was a live bomb packed with nails that was delivered by an undercover agent.
According to court documents, Domingo expressed support in online posts and conversations with an FBI source for violent jihad and aspired to become a martyr by seeking retribution for attacks against Muslims.
After considering various options — including targeting Jews, churches, and police officers — Domingo decided to detonate an IED at the Long Beach rally, which ended up not taking place, authorities said.
“This investigation successfully disrupted a very real threat posed by a trained combat soldier who repeatedly stated he wanted to cause the maximum number of casualties,” said US Attorney Nick Hanna.
Domingo, who served in Afghanistan between September 2012 and January 2013, in one message posted to a private group online in early March referred to a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 that left 58 dead.
“America needs another Vegas event… that would give them the taste of terror they gladly spread all over the world,” he said.
In another posting on March 14, he wrote: “There were mosque shootings in New Zealand. There must be retribution.”
Authorities said he was referring to the New Zealand mosques massacre the previous day in which 50 people were killed.
After several weeks of plotting with an undercover FBI informant and considering various targets, Domingo finally set his sights on the rally in Long Beach and bought several hundred three-inch (7.6-centimeter) nails to be used as shrapnel inside an explosive device “because they would be long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs,” the complaint says.
He was arrested after an undercover officer handed him inert devices and the pair traveled to the Long Beach park where the rally was set to take place to conduct surveillance.
“I’m extremely glad to be announcing that we interdicted a potential terrorist attack, rather than outlining the FBI’s response to yet another tragedy,” said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
“At no time was the public in danger and there is currently no known threat to public safety.”
Domingo has been charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. He faces up to 15 years in prison on the charge.
He was due to make an initial appearance on court later Monday.
UAE announces first Wuhan coronavirus case
The United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday its first case of the new coronavirus, in a family from Wuhan, in what is thought to be the first confirmed case in the Middle East.
“The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention announced a case of the new coronavirus affecting people from one family coming from the city of Wuhan in China,” the state news agency WAM reported, without saying how many were infected.
Mike Pompeo’s behavior is straight out of Nixon VP’s playbook: historians
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expletive-laden dust-up with NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly is on message for the Trump-led Republican Party. Complaining that Kelly’s question about Ukraine was “another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration,” Pompeo has rallied the Republican base by slamming a journalist doing her job.
Whether he knows it or not, Pompeo is drawing from a playbook written a half century ago and perfected by a politician once voted the worst vice president in American history. Secretary Mike Pompeo, meet Vice President Spiro Agnew.
‘Our chances of ever exiting the nightmare are shrinking’: Paul Krugman explains how the GOP is getting worse
It is a great detriment to civil discourse that the divide between left and right in the United States is often depicted as being purely cultural — as if one’s politics were solely mediated by aesthetics, such as whether one prefers shooting guns or drinking lattes. This fabulist understanding of politics is harmful inasmuch as it masks the real social effects of the policy agendas pushed by left versus right. Seeing politics as aesthetic transforms what should be a quantitative debate — with statistics and numbers about taxation and public policy, questions of who benefits more or less from policy changes — and devolves it into a rhetorical debate over values.