Silver Spring man accused of domestic terror plot, wanted to create ‘white homeland’

WASHINGTON — A Silver Spring, Maryland, lieutenant for the U.S. Coast Guard in D.C. has been arrested on suspicion of a domestic terror plot to kill numerous high-profile politicians and journalists in an attempt to establish a “white homeland.”

Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, was arrested Feb. 15 on gun and drug charges. A detention hearing for Hasson is set for Thursday at 1 p.m. Court documents reveal Hasson described himself as a white nationalist and harbored extremist views for years.

Letters written by Hasson and recovered by authorities describe his desire to “kill almost every last person on earth” using biological attacks like anthrax or botulism, followed by attacks on food supplies.

Hasson wrote that violence was the only way to make change, and that “Much blood will have to be spilled to get whitey off the couch.” He also writes about seeking support from Russia, inciting violence at Black Lives Matter protests, and hoping to land a leadership position within the community.

A search of his Silver Spring basement apartment turned up 15 firearms and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition. According to court documents, Hasson was planning “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” Authorities also found a locked suitcase containing over 30 bottles labeled “HGH” — human growth hormone.

Hasson routinely studied the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian far-right terrorist whose attacks led to the deaths of 77 Norwegians in 2011. Breivik supported the ideology of “Crusader Nationalism,” which he believed would counteract what he called the “islamization” of Europe.

Documents say Hasson was particularly concerned with Breivik’s writing on how to stockpile firearms, food, disguises and survival supplies. He visited websites selling firearms and tactical gear thousands of times, according to court documents.

Hasson’s alleged targets were gleaned from his internet searches, some of which included: “most liberal senators,” “where do most senators live in dc.” The suspect also searched MSNBC host Joe Scarborough after reading a headline where Scarborough described President Donald Trump as “the worst ever.”

An Excel spreadsheet, pictured below, shows Hasson’s hit list. According to documents, Hasson’s targets, as he described them and as law enforcement interpreted them, were as follows: “JOEY,” who is probably Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, “Pelosi,” who is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “sen kaine,” who is Va. Sen. Tim Kaine, “Sen blumen jew,” who is presumed to be Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

Hasson’s targets included numerous journalists and politicians. (Courtesy U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland)

Other political targets included U.S. Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York. He also listed Sens. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — whom he called “poca warren.” Media figures Hasson singled out were CNN’s Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones, as well as MSNBC’s Ari Melber.

Hasson’s target list also included “DSA,” which is presumed to be the Democratic Socialists of America.

Authorities say the list was created while Hasson reviewed MSNBC, CNN and Fox News websites on his work computer. According to court documents, Hasson is an acquisitions officer with the Coast Guard, a position he has held since 2016. He served in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 1993 and spent about two years on active duty in the Army National Guard, according to court documents.

Hasson also was a chronic user of Tramadol, a painkiller, and purchased synthetic urine in case of random drug testing, as well as a heating pad that authorities presume was meant to bring the fake urine up to body temperature, the court documents said.

Prosecutors have asked that Hasson be detained until his trial and that the charges he currently faces — possession of a firearm and ammunition by an unlawful user or addict of controlled substances and possession of Tramadol — are “the proverbial tip of the iceberg.”

“The defendant is a domestic terrorist bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.

The Coast Guard released this statement on Hasson’s arrest:

“An active duty Coast Guard member, stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, was arrested last week on illegal weapons and drug charges as a result of an ongoing investigation led by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, in cooperation with the FBI and Department of Justice. Because this is an open investigation, the Coast Guard has no further details at this time.”


Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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