Federal authorities arrest California U.S. Army veteran for terror-related charges.

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Army veteran arrested on terrorism charges

April 29, 2019 - 4:29 pm

By Ben Krimmel

A U.S. Army veteran's plot to detonate improvised explosive devices in a large-scale terror attack in Los Angeles was thwarted by federal law enforcement officials, according to court documents unsealed Monday. 

Mark Steven Domingo, a 26-year-old former Army infantryman who completed a four-month deployment to Afghanistan in 2013, had amassed an arsenal of weapons, including 80 pounds of nails for a bomb, to carry out an attack as retribution for the March mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand, NBC News reported.

Federal prosecutors allege he was plotting to detonate a bomb at a "white nationalist rally" in Huntington Beach, Calif. on April 27. Domingo was arrested Friday night after he took the delivery of what he believed to be a live bomb from an undercover law enforcement officer, authorities said. The rally did not happen.

According to the indictment, Domingo, who converted to Islam, posted in a private group online on March 14 about the desire for revenge after a white supremacist gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people.

Two days later, an FBI informant, who was already in the private message group, and an FBI "online covert employee" made contact with Domingo, per NBC News. And during six weeks of plotting with the informant, he fantasized about killing several perceived enemies including white supremacists, Christians, Jews, police officers, and his next-door neighbor, NBC News reported. He also allegedly expressed allegiance to the Islamic State.

However, Domingo struggled to develop a plan or a specific target.

Authorities allege Domingo became obsessed with getting possession of an improvised explosive device after the FBI informant said he knew a person who used to make them. 

Per NBC News, he said in one conversation: "We'll both make it. I just don't know how," according to the indictment.

Domingo was charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

"This investigation successfully disrupted a very real threat posed by a trained combat soldier who repeatedly stated he wanted to cause the maximum number of casualties," U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said.

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