A federal judge ordered a US Coast Guard lieutenant accused of planning a widespread terrorist attack to remain in jail The lawsuit overturned a former judge's decision, Christopher Paul Hasson, for house arrest release.
The decision was made on Monday at a Maryland US District Court hearing, in which the prosecutor and Hasson's public defender clashed for the fourth time to see if Hasson should stay in jail for drug and abuse abuses is charged, but not for terrorist offenses.
Although Hasson's charges are "inconspicuous," US District Court judge George J. Hazel said Hasson's "history and characteristics" and possible threat to the evidence presented by the government showed that certain alleged actions were taken against a plan, said Hazel. Hasson's alleged actions of amassing weapons, creating a target list of enemies, and investigating their locations, piled up after he began to study the manifesto of a Norwegian terrorist who had killed 77 people.
The evidence shows that Hasson allegedly "intended to use these items to commit a series of violent acts," Hazel said, noting that Hasson had seized 15 firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
Hasson, 50, from Silver Spring, was arrested in February. The investigators found an arsenal of weapons in his basement apartment and a list of targets on his computer, which the prosecutor's office considered part of a planned mass-murder attempt driven by his self-proclaimed White-Supremacist views.
Hasson confessed guiltlessly. His public defenders said the government could not prove Hasson's concrete plans for an attack and called the allegations "far-reaching, dramatic rhetoric."
Deputy US Attorney Thomas Windom filed a case against Hazel on Friday in a petition to the court The government has "no doubt" that Hasson's arrest in February prevented a "mass casualty event".
On court Monday, Windom displayed some of the weapons that the government says Hasson modified to ease the attack. According to Windom, Hasson lied that he lived in Virginia to buy weapons faster, and some weapons that Hasson bought remain "unconsidered."
It's "very scary that there are other weapons the government does not know about," Windom said.
According to experts, Hasson's case is a challenge for prosecutors. The federal laws on material support for terrorism mainly refer to foreign groups such as the Islamic State. However, since there is no domestic terrorist list, the government is limited in dealing with the allegations that it can make. Domestic terrorism suspects are usually charged with non-terrorism offenses to eliminate suspected threats.
According to Liz Oyer, Federal Defense Minister of Hasson, the government has accused her clients of stalking, attempted murder or other offenses outside of terrorism. Oyer said the government has not filed any further charges, as prosecutors can not substantiate any concrete evidence of conspiracy and develop a "gut feeling".
Such a case, "said Oyer.
Last week, US judge Charles B. Day ruled that Hasson should be released from custody in his wife's home in Virginia for bail-outs on GPS surveillance and other stringent bail-outs. However, the release was immediately blocked after the government filed an appeal Hazel had ruled on Monday. Hazel will direct Hasson's trial.
When Hasson was imprisoned, Hazel stated that there were "very clear connections" between Hasson's actions and Hasson's reading of a manifesto by the Norwegian mass aggressor Anders Breivik.
"It may be strange to read, but it is not illegal to read," said Oyer, Hasson considered Breivik's manifesto.
The Coast Guard said its alleged conspiracy had been exposed when an internal program looking for an "inside threat" became suspicious activity on Hasson's work computer.
Court documents filed on Friday said Hasson spent hours on a Thursday in February 2018 using his Coast Guard computer to search for information about Hitler, Nazis, and how many Jewish people in the US, prosecutors, said Court documents. Later that night, according to the government, on his personal device, he searched the arms trafficking sites for information on how much a particular rifle could "kill".
Similar searches were made, according to the government, over the following days: "How to get rid of the rifle us of jews," "Rifle Ranges Near Me," and "How to Write People Rise Against the Jews."
Hasson researched Also, how to make homemade bombs, studied sniper training manuals and examined whether certain bullets were "not findable." Claims the government.
In writings seized by the government, Hasson called himself a longtime white nationalist and skinhead and said he dreamed "of a way to kill almost every last human being on earth," according to court documents.
". , , The manifestos of those who appeared before the accused – those who attacked children in Norway, tourists at the Atlanta Olympics and supporters of the Pittsburgh Synagogue and New Zealand mosques – were undivided private thoughts, "Windom wrote," until these plans turned to action.