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White supremacist Coast Guard officer who allegedly plotted mass violence imprisoned ahead of fresh charges
GREENBELT, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of amassing a cache of weapons and plotting to attack Democratic politicians and journalists was ordered held for two weeks on Thursday while federal prosecutors consider charging him with more crimes.
Chris Hasson, 49, appeared in a burgundy jumpsuit but did not speak during a brief hearing in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland. Prosecutors said the charges already filed against him are "just the tip of the iceberg."
"There is an intent to murder innocent civilians," U.S. Attorney Jennifer Sykes told Judge Charles Day.
Hasson is described by federal prosecutors as a "domestic terrorist" and self-described white supremacist who had a list of potential targets including House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and MSNBC television host Joe Scarborough.
Hassan also searched the internet for where members of Congress live, and which public figures had security details, prosecutors said.
Public defender Julie Stelzig, representing Hasson, pointed to his military service as evidence of his character. She said Hasson's gun collection was not extraordinarily large, and that he should not be held accountable for writing disturbing emails which he ultimately did not send.
"We are not yet a country that criminalizes people for their thoughts," Stelzig said.
In a draft email from June 2017 cited by prosecutors, Hasson wrote: "I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth. I think a plague would be most successful but how do I acquire the needed/ Spanish flu, botulism, anthrax not sure yet but will find something."
Hasson was assigned to the Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was arrested on Friday on weapons and drugs charges.
The Coast Guard has confirmed an active duty member was arrested after a probe by its own investigators, the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice, but said it was offering no further details because of the ongoing investigation.
Prosecutors said 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition were found at Hasson's residence. They also said he studied a manifesto by Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who in July 2011 killed eight people in downtown Oslo with a car bomb and then shot dead 69 people, many of them teenagers, at a Labour Party camp.
According to prosecutors, Hassan had also been studying manifestos by "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski and Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui.
SEE ALSO: White Supremacist Coast Guard Officer Stockpiled Firearms And Hit List Of Democrats For Mass Terror Attack
WATCH NEXT: How White Supremacy Groups Recruit Veterans
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.