Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting terrorist attack charged

A cache of weapons, including 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, were found in the Silver Spring, Maryland, home of Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, of the U.S. Coast Guard. Photo courtesy U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland

Feb. 28 (UPI) — A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant who was allegedly stockpiling weapons in order to conduct a large-scale terrorist attack was indicted Wednesday on gun and drug charges.

Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, was charged with unlawful possession of silencers, possession of firearms by a drug addict and possession of a controlled substance, specifically tramadol, according to court documents.

If convicted, Hasson could face a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of the three firearms-related charges and a maximum of one year for the drug charge.

Hasson, who was arrested Feb. 15, was an alleged self-proclaimed white supremacist who was planning a domestic terrorist attack in order to fuel a race war, according to court documents.

Inspired by Norwegian far-right domestic terrorist Anders Breivik who killed 77 people in his native country, Hasson had also allegedly created a hit list of Democrats and left-leaning commentators and journalists.

During a detention hearing last week, the prosecution was given two weeks to bring additional charges against Hasson after which time his lawyers could appeal his pre-trial custody.

“The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” the prosecution argued in a court document for Hasson to be detained.

However, his lawyer rebutted that “It’s not a crime to think negative thoughts. It’s not a crime to think about doomsday scenarios.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day said, “What drives the government’s concern is what also gives the court pause,” before ordering his detention.

Domestic terrorism, however, is not a federal crime, meaning that prosecutors often have to file hate-crime or state law charges, such as those brought Wednesday against Hasson.

“We continue to gather evidence, as well as review evidence already obtained as part of this ongoing investigation,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a statement.

On Feb. 15, Hasson was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance and simple possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance.

A warrant discovered a cache of 15 firearms and a case with more than 30 bottles labeled human growth hormone in his Silver Spring, Maryland, residence.


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