Christopher Paul Hasson

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Christopher Paul Hasson
Bornc. 1969
Maryland, United States
ResidenceSilver Spring, Maryland
NationalityAmerican
Children2

Christopher Paul Hasson (born c. 1969) is a Maryland-born United States Coast Guard lieutenant accused in February 2019 of plotting the targeted assassinations of high-profile American politicians and media figures, and indiscriminate terror attacks using biological weapons. He was arrested for weapons and drug possession in February 2019.[1]

Hasson, who identifies as a white nationalist, drew inspiration from Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik and abortion clinic bomber Eric Robert Rudolph.[2][3]

Career[edit]

Hasson served in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 1993. He was then on active duty with the Army National Guard for approximately two years. He has been in the Coast Guard for more than twenty years[4] and has held his current position there since 2016.[5]

2019 plot and arrest[edit]

Hasson had been amassing guns and ammunition since 2017.[6] His goals included the assassination of high-profile Democratic and left-leaning politicians and media figures.[6]

Hasson attempted to find out where Democratic politicians and media figures lived. This was substantiated by his recent Google searches according to the pending trial motion against him. These included: "what if trump illegally impeached", "civil war if trump impeached", "best place in dc", "where in dc to congress live", "social democrats usa", "most liberal senators", "where do most senators live in dc", "where in dc to see congress people", "do senators have ss protection", and "are supreme court justices protected". Hasson searched and found out the address of MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. Hasson had expressed belief in the white genocide conspiracy theory.[7][8]

Hasson created a spreadsheet with a list of journalists, Democratic politicians, and socialist figures and organizations, including:

Hasson also used work computers to plan the attack during his job as a Coast Guard Lieutenant and study the manifestos of various mass shooters.[12]

Beliefs and ideology[edit]

In addition to being a self-proclaimed white nationalist, Hasson is a neo-Nazi and he has been a white power skinhead for the last 30 years. He advocated turning the Pacific Northwest into an all-white homeland when he sent a letter to the American neo-Nazi and leader of the Northwest Front Harold Covington stating that he has been on his website briefly and read most of his books. Hasson expressed dissatisfaction with holding public rallies and gaining support from the public in a letter which he wrote several weeks after the Charlottesville riots and preferred militant action, including actions targeting individual public figures who he believed were "Cultural Marxists". Hasson was planning to use biological weapons such as the Spanish flu, botulism, and anthrax to "kill almost every last person on the earth", followed by attacks on the food supply. He recommended building stockpiles in five locations, the contents of which were to be food, firearms, clothing/military gear, and extra mortar recoilless rifles. He recommended gaining combat/military experience and chemistry skills in addition to buying three homes and hideouts. Hasson wanted to use tactics from the Euromaidan protests and the Donbass conflict in Ukraine in order to raise tensions between the "govt/police" and "BLM protestors and other leftist crap". Hasson is an antisemite as expressed in the letter "I don't know if there truly is a 'Conspiracy' of (((People))) out to destroy me and mine, but there is an attack nonetheless". The same letter referred to "muslim scum".[13] Hasson "conducted online searches and made thousands of visits to websites that contain pro-Russian, neo-fascist, and neo-Nazi literature" between January 2017 and January 2019. Fifteen firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition were found in his residence, as well as drugs that were labeled "human growth hormone".[2][14]

Prosecution[edit]

Federal prosecutors described Hasson: "The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country. He must be detained pending trial" and: "The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life."[15][16] On February 21, 2019, a U.S. magistrate judge ordered that Hasson be detained pending trial.[17][18][19]

On February 27, 2019, Hasson was indicted by a federal grand jury on additional charges of unlawful possession of silencers; possession of firearms by a drug addict and unlawful use; and possession of a controlled substance.[20][21][22]

On March 11, 2019, Hasson pleaded not guilty to all the charges at a hearing before a federal magistrate judge in Greenbelt, Maryland. If convicted of all charges, Hasson faces up to 31 years in prison. Hasson's attorney, a public defender, did not ask for Hasson to be freed on bond.[23][24]

Reactions[edit]

President Donald Trump reacted to the attempted attack by Hasson stating "I think it's a shame" and that it was "a very sad thing".[25]

Joe Scarborough, one of the people targeted in Hasson's list, accused Trump of inspiring Hasson and stated: "This is pretty simple. It’s all on the president’s shoulders. It’s all the president’s fault."[26]

Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele accused Trump of silence on Hasson. stating "I guess I kind of at this point have reached the ‘my glass is no longer half-full,’ it's just overflowing with all the crazy that comes out of Trump, Why would we be surprised that a self-proclaimed nationalist would not speak out against a self-proclaimed white nationalist? Why are we acting like this is a space that Donald Trump is gonna go in on behalf of the American ideal? No, he's not. ... These are his people, alright? And he’s not gonna thank law enforcement because he’s probably not happy about what law enforcement did."[27]

Vegas Tenold, author of the book Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism wrote an op-ed on The Guardian titled "The neo-Nazi plot against America is much bigger than we realize" about Hasson and other far-right domestic terrorists.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Hasson lived in Silver Spring, Maryland.[14] Hasson is married with two children, one of whom is in the Marine Corps.[29] Hasson's neighborhood was 80% Latino and he lived in a cramped basement apartment in a small house in Langley Park.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Choi, Matthew (2 February 2019). "Coast Guard officer accused of plotting to kill Democrats, journalists". Politico. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Hannon, Elliot (February 20, 2019). "White Supremacist Coast Guard Lieutenant Was Allegedly Plotting Mass Terrorist Attack". Slate. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  3. ^ McCarthy, Tom (February 21, 2019). "Neo-Nazi coast guard officer accused of domestic terror plot denied bail". The Guardian. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  4. ^ The Washington Post (February 21, 2019). "Coast Guard lieutenant ordered held 14 days while prosecutors weigh terror charges". The Mercury News. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Philips, Dave (20 February 2019). "Coast Guard Officer Plotted to Kill Democrats and Journalists, Prosecutors Say". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b Romo, Vanessa (20 February 2019). "Arrested Coast Guard Officer Allegedly Planned Attack 'On A Scale Rarely Seen'". NPR. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  7. ^ Bui, Lynh (February 20, 2019). "'I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on earth': A self-proclaimed white nationalist planned a mass terrorist, says the government". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d "Motion for Pending Trial against Christopher Paul Hasson". DocumentCloud. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Ramirez, Mark (20 February 2019). "Beto O'Rourke among names on 'hit list' of self-avowed white supremacist arrested in Maryland". Dallas News. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Ackerman, Spencer (2019-02-20). "Coast Guard Officer Accused of Racist Mass-Murder Plot, Kept 'Hit List' of Democrats and MSNBC Hosts". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  11. ^ a b c "US Coast Guard officer hoped to 'kill every person on the earth'". BBC. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  12. ^ Biuh, Lynn; Lamothe, Don; Miller, Michael E. (February 21, 2019). "Coast Guard lieutenant used work computers in alleged planning of widespread domestic terrorist attack, prosecutors say". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  13. ^ Barrouquere, Brett (February 21, 2019). "Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson Wrote to Notorious Neo-Nazi Harold Covington". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Dilanian, Ken; Williams, Pete (20 February 2019). "Coast Guard officer wanted to kill Democrats, TV hosts, say prosecutors". NBC News. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  15. ^ Becket, Stefan (February 21, 2019). "Chris Hasson, U.S. Coast Guard arrested on gun charges had hit list of prominent Democrats, feds say". CBS News. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  16. ^ Stewart, Emily (February 21, 2019). "A Coast Guard officer's arrest is the latest example of the rising problem of right-wing terrorism in America". Vox. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  17. ^ "Coast Guard officer accused of drafting hit list of prominent Democrats to remain jailed". CBS News. February 21, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  18. ^ Gray, Sarah (February 21, 2019). "Judge orders US Coast Guardsman accused of plotting domestic terrorism to remain behind bars". The Business Insider. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  19. ^ Miller, Jayne (February 21, 2019). "Judge detains Coast Guard officer in Md. accused of planning attack". WBAL TV 11 (NBC). Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  20. ^ "White Supremacist Coast Guard Officer Indicted, Was Plotting to Kill 'Almost Every Last Person on Earth' Prosecutors Say". KTLA. February 27, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  21. ^ Kunzelman, Michael (February 27, 2019). "Coast Guard Officer accused of drafting hit list is indicted". Associated Press/WLOS (ABC). Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  22. ^ Miller, Jayne (February 27, 2019). "Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson indicted on more charges". WBAL-TV. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  23. ^ Gonzales, Richard (March 11, 2019). "Coast Guard Officer Pleads Not Guilty To Gun, Drug Charges In Alleged Terrorism Plot". NPR. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  24. ^ "Officer accused of making hit list pleads not guilty". Associated Press/ABC. March 11, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  25. ^ Frazin, Rachael (February 22, 2019). "Trump responds to Coast Guard official accused of terror plot: 'It's a shame'". The Hill. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  26. ^ Rosza, Matthew (February 21, 2019). ""It's all the president's fault": Joe Scarborough blames Trump for Coast Guard officer's terror plot". Salon. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  27. ^ Wulfsohn, Joseph A. (February 22, 2019). "Former RNC chair Michael Steele: Trump 'isn't happy' with law enforcement for foiling terror plot against Dems". Fox News. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  28. ^ "The neo-Nazi plot against America is much bigger than we realize". March 12, 2019. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  29. ^ Cleary, Tom (February 20, 2019). "Christopher Hasson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  30. ^ Lehan, Bruce (February 21, 2019). "Neighbors shocked: Accused domestic terrorist Christopher Hasson lived in a Latino community". WUSA 9 (CBS). Retrieved February 21, 2019.