World / Crime & Legal

U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant arrested for mass murder plot targeting Democrats and media figures


A U.S. Coast Guard officer who espoused white supremacist views and drafted a target list of Democratic politicians and prominent media figures has been arrested on firearms and drug charges.

Christopher Paul Hasson, an admirer of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, was arrested last week and a powerful arsenal seized from his home, according to court documents unsealed on Wednesday.

“The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” U.S. District Attorney Robert Hur said in a motion seeking that Hasson be detained until trial.

“The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct,” Hur said.

Hasson is being held on drug charges and for unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said 15 firearms and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition were recovered from Hasson’s apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, along with illegal drugs.

In documents seized by the authorities, Hasson “identified himself as a White Nationalist for over 30 years and advocated for ‘focused violence’ in order to establish a white homeland,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Hasson routinely perused portions of the “Breivik manifesto” on amassing firearms and compiling a list of targets, it said.

Among those listed as targets were Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats in the House and Senate.

Media personalities included CNN’s Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo.

Hasson, a lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard working at U.S. Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, is a former U.S. Marine who also spent two years in the U.S. Army National Guard.

Hasson was remanded in custody and is to appear in court before a court in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Thursday.

Breivik is serving a 21-year sentence for the July 2011 massacre of 77 people, most of them teenagers who were attending a youth camp.