WASHINGTON (CIRCA) — Christopher Hasson, the Coast Guard lieutenant that allegedly planned a domestic terrorist attack, learned from the experiences of other infamous domestic extremists, according to court documents.
Hasson, who was arrested Feb. 15, allegedly referenced Eric Rudolph and Anders Breivik while engaging in research for his plot. He reportedly spent hours planning the details, even while on the job as a Coast Guard officer. Federal prosecutors believe the references to past mass murderers, in conjunction with his stockpile and a list of "traitors" that included prominent politicians and media figures, show that Hasson was on his way toward committing a potentially deadly attack.
"The sheer number and force of the weapons recovered from Mr. Hasson's residence in this case, coupled with the disturbing nature of his writings, appear to reflect the very significant threat to the safety of our community," said Robert Hur, the U.S. District Attorney for Maryland, in a public statement. "Particularly given the position of trust that Mr. Hasson held with the United States government."
Police discovered an assortment of 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of various types of ammunition when they executed a search warrant of his basement apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland. They also discovered draft emails in which Hasson referred to himself as a longtime white nationalist who was ready to take action against his perceived enemies.
In one draft letter, he referenced "Between the Lines of Drift," Rudolph's memoir, as a source of information. Rudolph was convicted of the 1996 Centennial Park bombing in Atlanta during the Olympics and eluded police for nearly seven years until he was caught in 2003. Rudolph cited abortion as his prime motivation in the memoir.
Hasson allegedly referenced Breivik's manifesto for inspiration repeatedly, according to the documents. Breivik became infamous in 2011 after he killed 77 people in Norway in two coordinated attacks in the name of his ideology, which espoused anti-immigration and anti-feminist ideas. He claimed to have prepared for the attack since 2003, meticulously planning everything from his choice of weapons to creating shell companies in order to obtain large amounts of fertilizer for bombs.
Hasson appears to have also planned his attack for some time. Court documents allege that he acquired his weapons over a period of two years from several different proprietors. He was also found in possession of Tramadol, a painkiller he admitted to using in one of his draft letters, which led to federal authorities charging him for unlawful possession of a firearm while addicted to an illegal substance. Despite the charges, authorities claimed the current charges are just the "proverbial tip of the iceberg," and that Hasson is a dangerous domestic terrorist.
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