Army veteran arrested for plotting LA mass attack
LOS ANGELES, April 29 (Reuters) – A U.S. combat veteran of the war in Afghanistan who prosecutors say plotted to detonate multiple nail bombs at a Los Angeles-area white nationalist rally, seeking to cause mass casualties, was arrested in an FBI sting operation, federal prosecutors said on Monday.
Mark Steven Domingo, 26, a U.S. Army infantryman who recently converted to Islam, was taken into custody on Friday after undercover FBI operatives furnished him with what he thought were live bombs to be used in the attack, law enforcement officials said.
Authorities said Domingo, who had no prior criminal record, came to their attention because of a series of violent extremist messages he posted in online chat rooms, one of which called for “retribution” for the massacre of 50 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a gunman in March.
“Often we are asked what keeps us up at night. This is a case that keeps us up at night,” Ryan Young, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, told a news conference in Los Angeles.
Domingo, who had purchased several hundred long nails to serve as shrapnel in the homemade pressure-cooker bombs, had also suggested attacks on Jews, police officers, churches, a military facility, Southern California freeways and the Santa Monica Pier during internet conversations with the FBI operatives, Young said.