Sitting in an office in Coast Guard headquarters, Lt. Christopher Hasson took illicit opiates and plotted terror attacks that he hoped would spark a race war, according to authorities.
To outward appearances, he was a suburban father with a desk job supplying Coast Guard ships. But in court filings, prosecutors said he was also a “domestic terrorist” and self-described white nationalist who studied the methods of the Unabomber and the Virginia Tech gunman; stockpiled guns and drugs; drew up a target list of prominent cable news journalists and Democratic politicians to be killed; and wrote of wanting “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.”
Hasson declined to speak Thursday as prosecutors and his lawyer argued whether he should be released from custody until his trial.
Magistrate Judge Charles Day said no, at least for the next 14 days, while prosecutors consider further charges beyond the relatively minor gun and drug possession counts he now faces. Prosecutors indicated that they would probably file terrorism-related charges before the 14-day period is up.
In court papers this week, federal prosecutors said he compiled what appeared to be a computer-spreadsheet hit list that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, and presidential hopefuls Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.
Hasson’s lawyer, Julie Stelzig, depicted him as a loving husband and father with no criminal record and 28 years of military service.
Prosecutors say that for at least two years, Hasson visited white supremacist and neo-Nazi websites and studied the manifesto written by Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right Norwegian extremist who killed 77 people in 2011.