Coast Guard lieutenant arrested

Christopher Hasson is accused of a mass murder plot against Democrats

Photo Courtesy of the Coast Guard on Flickr | Lt. Christopher Hasson was arrested on drug and gun possession, but he has also been accused of a plot to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” according to court documents in Maryland.

An internal memo announced that law enforcement officials would conduct a “complete sweep” of Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., after the arrest of Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson on Feb. 22.

He was a military veteran with 28 years of experience in the Marines, the Army National Guard and the Coast Guard.

Hasson was arrested on drug and gun possession charges but is also accused of a plot to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” according to documents filed in Maryland District Court.

Hasson appeared in federal court on Feb. 21 for a hearing to decide whether or not he should be released from custody until his trial. During his hearing, Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day ordered Hasson to be kept in custody for the next 14 days, a period during which prosecutors plan to file terrorism-related charges in addition to the gun and drug possession charges that he faces.

Hasson, a self-proclaimed white nationalist, wrote in a June 2017 email that he was “dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth,” using “Spanish flu, botulism, anthrax” or other mass toxins.

First-year Will Keohane was pleased with the decision to keep Hasson in custody.

“Someone like this guy should never see the light of day again,” he said. “With his position in the military, he would’ve been able to pull off a massive attack, and I don’t think his threats should be taken lightly, and I’m glad to see for now that they aren’t.”

According to court documents, Hasson relied on the manifesto of Anders Breivik, a Norwegian who killed 77 people in two separate domestic terrorist attacks in 2011.

Hasson’s official charges are illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession of Tramadol, a controlled substance used to treat severe pain. According to the federal government, Hasson also stockpiled steroids and human growth hormone, which is consistent with instructions in Breivik’s manifesto.

Purported targets of Hasson included Senators Tim Kaine, Kristen Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On Feb. 22, President Donald Trump responded to Hasson’s arrest. “I think it’s a very sad thing when a thing like this happens,” he said. Trump was later asked if he believes that his rhetoric is somewhat to blame for attacks on the media. He responded, “No, I don’t,” and added, “I think my language is very nice.”

First-year Jake Geiger said that while he strongly disagrees with the way Trump portrays the media as an enemy, he didn’t believe it was a factor in this particular case.

“Based off what I’ve seen so far, I think Hasson is just a terrorist who tried to create harm on everyone, not just the media,” Geiger said. “I know that a lot of people who were reported on his list were media members, but he said how he wanted to kill all people and he was inspired by other terrorists, so I feel like this isn’t related to the media specifically.”

Hasson is expected to face further charges in the coming days.

By: Joe Clark | Staff Writer