A California man has been arrested over an alleged plot to bomb a white supremacist rally in Los Angeles, law enforcement said in court documents published by the Los Angeles Times. The man was allegedly motivated by a desire to seek revenge for the mass shootings last month in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Mark Steven Domingo, a 26-year-old Army veteran who recently converted to Islam, was arrested Friday night after allegedly accepting what he believed to be an improvised explosive device from a bomb maker. An undercover FBI agent posing as the bomb maker had worked with a confidential FBI source as part of a weekslong effort to uncover Domingo’s plans.
The suspect had allegedly weighed several forms of retaliation for the New Zealand shootings, which left 50 people dead. He told FBI informants he wanted to cause “mass casualties” and considered attacks against Jews, police, churches, and tourists at the Santa Monica Pier, according to court documents.
But he ultimately came to focus on a planned white supremacist rally in Long Beach. According to the Associated Press, no actual white supremacists showed up at the rally, which was planned for Sunday. Instead, a large group of counterprotesters rallied to demonstrate against hate.
The FBI was first alerted to Domingo’s alleged plans after he posted to an unnamed platform his desire for revenge after the New Zealand attack. He told an informant who had been working with the FBI for the past six years that he considered, among other forms of terror, shooting Jews as they walked to synagogue. He also said he thought the U.S. should experience another event similar to the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. “Its not about winning the civil war its about weakening America and giving them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world,” he allegedly wrote. He reportedly boasted about his firearms, including two semi-automatic rifles.
Domingo allegedly went as far as to purchase several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel in a pressure cooker bomb and to visit the park where the rally was to occur. But according to the court documents, he expressed some hesitation about following through with his plot. He allegedly told the confidential source he wanted to “sleep on it” but then said the next day that he wanted to go forward with the plan.
Authorities have said Domingo worked alone. He has been charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.