Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson is in custody following an investigation that revealed the alleged white supremacist was hoping to conduct a mass killing. The contents of court documents made public this week, uncovered that among his hit list were presidential hopefuls Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, as well as CNN journalists Don Lemon and Van Jones.
A statement obtained by CNN and released on Thursday from the Coast Guard chief of media relations said that Hasson has been under investigation since 2018, “after the Coast Guard Insider Threat Program first identified concerns about him.” Hasson was arrested once the FBI and Coast Guard Investigative Service could build a strong enough case against the officer who held a secret level clearance from 2005 to earlier this week.
As reported by the New York Times, Hasson is said to have extremist views that led him to plot terror attacks at his desk in hopes of sparking a race war. The 49-year-old worked at Coast Guard Headquarters in the nation’s capital and has been assigned there since 2016. His plan is said to have been inspired by a Norweigan mass shooting that left 77 people dead.
When law enforcement agents searched his Maryland apartment, court documents show that they found 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. They also found steroid drugs which prosecutors believe Hasson was using in accordance with the manifesto of Norweigan killer Anders Breivik, that instructed extremists to bulk up prior to attacks to aid in their ability to carry them out.
In the writings that were uncovered, Hasson painted himself as a White Nationalist and former skinhead who believed the protests in Charlottesville didn’t go far enough. He had several letters drafted to far-right groups and well-known neo-Nazis that suggested he would go to great lengths to create a “white homeland.”
US Attorney Rob Hur told reporters outside of the courtroom earlier this week, “The sheer number and force of the weapons that were recovered from Mr. Hasson’s residence in this case, coupled with the disturbing nature of his writings, appear to reflect the very significant threat to the safety of our community, particularly given the position of trust that Mr. Hasson held with the United States government.”