The Slatest

White Supremacist Coast Guard Lieutenant Was Allegedly Plotting Mass Terrorist Attack

U.S. Coast Guard Change-of-Command Ceremony
U.S. Coast Guard Change-of-Command Ceremony on June 1 at the U.S. Coast Guard headquarters in D.C.
Pool/Getty Images

A Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist accused of plotting a mass killing was arrested after federal investigators uncovered 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in the basement of his Maryland home. Christopher Paul Hasson, a veteran of the Marine Corps who worked at the U.S. Coast Guard headquarters in D.C., was contemplating pulling off chilling acts of domestic terror to sow violence and disorder, including biological attacks and tainting American food supplies, according to court documents. Hasson’s violent musings contemplated ways to “kill almost every last person on earth” and “establish a white homeland.” The government described the illegal weapons and drug charges that led to Hasson’s arrest Friday as the “proverbial tip of the iceberg.”

In the drafts folder of his email, investigators found a note saying, “Please send me your violence that I may unleash it onto their heads. … Guide my hate to make a lasting impression on this world.” “During unrest target both sides to increase tension,” Hasson wrote in another email in June 2017, according to the court filings. “In other words provoke gov/police to over react which should help to escalate violence. BLM protests or other left crap would be ideal to incite to violence.”

A search of Hasson’s computer found he had created a hit list featuring Democratic leaders and members of media. Hasson’s spreadsheet of targets included Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and media personalities, including MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Chris Hayes. On Jan. 19, Hasson created an Excel spreadsheet of “traitors” on his work computer. The list was compiled shortly after Hasson conducted a series of internet searches, including “are supreme court justices protected.”

8:54 a.m.: “what if trump illegally impeached”

8:57 a.m.: “best place in dc to see congress people”

8:58 a.m.: “where in dc to congress live”

10:39 a.m.: “civil war if trump impeached”

11:26 a.m.: “social democrats usa”

The court documents did not specify what tipped off investigators to Hasson’s violent ambitions, which included a possible “bombing/sniper campaign.” The court filing did not say whether Hasson had a specific date planned to carry out an attack, but his behavior was troubling. In addition to a disturbing online history, which included thousands of visits to websites selling weapons or tactical gear, investigators also say Hasson appeared to be mimicking the attack prep outlined by Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s 1,500-page right-wing manifesto. Breivik went on a violent spree in 2011 killing 77 in Norway. “Breivik took steroids and narcotics, believing it would heighten his abilities to carry out attacks,” the Washington Post notes. “When law enforcement raided Hasson’s apartment, they said they found a locked container loaded with more than 30 vials of what appeared to be human growth hormone. He has also ordered more than 4,200 pills of the narcotic Tramadol since 2016, along with synthetic urine to allegedly bypass possible random drug screenings at work, they said.”

Hasson, a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, is expected to appear before a judge Thursday. Given the severity of the charges, prosecutors are pushing the court to keep Hasson in custody while he awaits trial. “The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” the government said in its filing.