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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 1°C
AP An undated photo of Mark Domingo

FBI uncovers 'chilling' terror plot by US Army veteran to bomb white supremacist rally

26 year-old Mark Domingo planned to carry out the attack on Sunday.

A US ARMY veteran has been arrested after plotting to bomb a white supremacist rally in revenge for the New Zealand mosque attacks, prosecutors said last night.

Mark Domingo, who served in Afghanistan before converting to Islam, was arrested on Friday after authorities discovered his plan to plant homemade nail bombs at the rally in California.

The 26 year-old was arrested for providing material support to terrorists, while it was also alleged that he had been planning to “manufacture and use a weapon of mass destruction in order to commit mass murder”.

Attorney Nick Hanna told a news conference that Domingo supported jihad and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group if it established a presence in the US.

“This is a case in which law enforcement was able to identify a man consumed with hate and bent on mass murder, and stop him before he could carry out his attack,” he said.

“The criminal case outlines a chilling terrorism plot that developed over the past two months and targeted innocent Americans that he expected to gather this past weekend.”

Confidential source

Investigators said Domingo posted an online message in March that said “America needs another Vegas event”, an apparent reference to a mass shooting that killed 59 people in 2017.

He allegedly said it would spark civil unrest to weaken the US “by giving them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world”.

However, he was caught after a confidential source who worked with the FBI began discussing his plans with him.

Nick Hanna Richard Vogel / AP United States Attorney Nick Hanna stands next to photos of Mark Domingo during a press conference yesterday Richard Vogel / AP / AP

Domingo said he had an assault rifle, a semi-automatic rifle and several magazines of ammunition, and talked about attacking Jews walking to synagogue, shooting police officers or attacking a church or military base.

When the source asked him how he planned to carry out violence without getting caught, court records said Domingo replied: “Martyrdom, bro”.

He eventually decided to plant an improvised explosive device that could be remotely detonated at a white supremacist event, investigators said.

The confidential source then connected him with a purported bomb maker who was actually an undercover police officer.

Acted alone

If he survived the planned bombing, Domingo allegedly discussed launching further attacks on the Long Beach Port or on a train.

The plot was thwarted just two days ahead of the event, investigators said, when an FBI SWAT team arrested Domingo after he was given bomb parts and surveyed where the rally was supposed to happen.

He is believed to have acted alone and authorities said the public was not at risk.

After he was identified online by the FBI, he was under surveillance around the clock, said Ryan Young, the FBI special agent in charge of counter terrorism at the Los Angeles office.

“Our biggest fear is this was a rapid what we call ‘radicalization to mobilization to violence’,” Young said.

“Sometimes we get asked ‘What keeps you up at night?’ This is a case that keeps us up at night.”

With reporting from Associated Press.

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