WASHINGTON — A lieutenant with the U.S. Coast Guard is accused of plotting to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," court documents said.
Coast Guard investigators and FBI agents arrested Christopher Hasson, 49, of Silver Spring, Maryland, on drug and weapons charges Friday, WJLA reported, citing federal prosecutors.
Here's what we know so far:
1. Who is he?
Prosecutors described Hasson's current charges, including illegal possession of a firearm/ammunition and possession of the opioid Tramadol, as the "tip of the iceberg."
The 49-year-old former Marine, who has worked as an acquisitions officer at the Coast Guard's Washington headquarters since 2016, "has espoused extremist views for years," court documents said.
The alleged "domestic terrorist" is "bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct," prosecutors said.
In a 2017 email draft found on his computer, the self-described white nationalist reportedly said he was "dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on earth," prosecutors said. He also considered "biological attacks," targeting the food supply, bombings and sniper attacks, court documents said.
2. Who did he allegedly plan to target?
After reading a manifesto by Anders Breivik, a Norwegian extremist who killed 77 people in a 2011 terror attack, about how to choose victims, Hasson identified several Democratic lawmakers and TV personalities as "traitors," court documents said. They included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer; U.S. Sens. Kristen Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Tim Kaine and Richard Blumenthal; U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson and Ihlan Omar; former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke; MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Chris Hayes; and CNN's Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones.
3. He acquired several weapons over the years, authorities said.
Investigators said they discovered 15 firearms and at least 1,000 rounds of ammunition at Hasson's home this month, according to the court documents.
4. Authorities believe Hasson used the opioid Tramadol and had several bottles of human growth hormone.
5. Hasson will remain jailed
Federal Magistrate Judge Charles Day on Thursday ordered Hasson be held without bond, but Day said he might reconsider his position if prosecutors file no more serious charges against Hasson in the next two weeks.
Hasson's attorney argued in court Thursday that his client was targeted by the FBI to prove that the agency "is not just targeting Muslims," WBAL-TV reported.
In a court filing, prosecutors say Hasson has espoused extremist views for years and drafted an email in which he said he was "dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth."
Prosecutors say federal agents found 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition inside Hasson's Maryland apartment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Cox Media Group