WASHINGTON — A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant working in the nation's capital lived a secret life as a "domestic terrorist" who aspired to mass murder and compiled a target list of prominent politicians and journalists, federal prosecutors allege in court papers.
Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested Feb. 15 on drug and gun charges, but prosecutors said in a detention memo this week that he intended "to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country."
He has espoused extremist views for years, the court papers say, and he read the manifesto of Anders Breivik, the white supremacist Norwegian terrorist who shot and killed 77 people in 2011.
From January 2017 to January 2019, "the defendant conducted online searches and made thousands of visits for pro-Russian, neo-fascist, and neo-Nazi literature," the document says.
"I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth," reads a draft email found on his computer. "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."
In another letter to himself found on his computer, court papers say, he says, "I am a long time White Nationalist, having been a skinhead 30 plus years ago before my time in the military."
The deadliest mass shootings in the US since 1900
The deadliest mass shootings in the US since 1900
On October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on concertgoers below from the windows of his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
As of October 3, at least 59 people are dead and over 500 injured in what became the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.
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Five Dallas police officers were shot and killed by Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, as they guarded a group of protesters on July 7, 2016.
(Photo via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)
On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen opened fire inside Pulse Nightclub, a well-known LGBT club in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring 58.
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, opened fire on the Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg, Oregon, killing nine people and wounding nine others before he was shot dead by police on October 1, 2015.
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
White supremacist Dylann Roof, 21, opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, during a bible study, leaving nine churchgoers dead on June 18, 2015.
Rival motorcycle gangs killed nine at a restaurant in Waco, Texas, on May 18, 2015. More than 190 people are arrested.
(REUTERS/Waco Police Department/Handout)
Fourteen people were killed and 22 were wounded when married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik attacked a service center for people with developmental disabilities during its holiday party in San Bernadino, California, on Dec. 2, 2015.
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A college student killed six people, three in his apartment and others on the streets of Isla Vista, California, on May 23, 2014. The mentally ill gunman committed suicide.
(Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
A former Navy reservist working as a government contractor killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. He was shot dead by police.
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and six school staff members.
(Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
A masked gunman killed 12 people and wounded 70 when he opened fire on July 20, 2012, at a midnight premiere of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Denver.
A white supremacist opened fire in the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on August 6, 2012, killing six people.
Then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was the target of an assassination attempt by a gunman in Tucson, Arizona, on Jan. 8, 2011. More than a dozen other people were injured and six people were killed at a public event entitled 'Congress on Your Corner' when a gunman opened fire.
(Photo by James Palka/Getty Images)
U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded 30 in a shooting at Fort Hood military base on November 5, 2009.
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
On April 3, 2009, 41-year-old Jiverly Antares Wong killed 13 people inside an immigration center in Binghamton, New York.
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On April 16, 2007, gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
(Photo by Ted Richardson/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
A gunman killed five girls in a one-room Amish schoolhouse October 2, 2006, in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. The man entered the school, let the boys go free, tied up the girls and shot them execution-style before killing himself.
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Two men, John Allen Muhammad, 41, and Lee Boyd Malvo, 17, ambushed 13 people, killing 10 of them, in sniper-style shootings that terrorized the Washington D.C. area for three weeks in October 2002. Muhammad was executed and Malvo was sentenced to life in prison.
(Photo credit should read LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)
The Columbine High School massacre was perpetrated by students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who killed 12 fellow students and one teacher on April 20, 1999.
(Photo via REUTERS/Gary Caskey GCC/HB)
George Hennard killed 23 people and injured 27 others when he attacked Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, on October 16, 1991.
(Photo by Gaylon Wampler/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
James Huberty, pictured here, shot and killed 21 people and hurt 19 others at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California, on July 18, 1984.
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Student Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the clock tower at the University of Texas where he shot and killed 13 people after killing his mother and wife on August 1, 1966.
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The Ludlow massacre took place when members of the Colorado National Guard as well as other militiamen shot down 19 striking coal miners in 1914.
(Photo via the Denver Post via Getty Images)
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The Coast Guard flagged him because of internet searches of extremist web sites at work, a federal law enforcement officer told NBC News.
"He wasn't too surprised to be arrested, but he was worried about law enforcement officers entering his home, the official said.
A search of his Silver Spring, Maryland, residence yielded 15 firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition, the court documents say.
He was abusing the narcotic tramadol, and he had stockpiled 30 bottles of human growth hormone, prosecutors said in court papers.
The combination of drugs and guns was a significant concern, the federal law enforcement official said.
Prosecutors allege Hasson was following Breivik's manifesto, seeking to target "political leaders, media leaders, cultural leaders, and industry leaders."
They say he searched the web for MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, and "compiled a list of prominent Democratic Congressional leaders, activists, political organizations, and MSNBC and CNN media personalities."
Prosecutors say the list included designations they believe referred to Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; and House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Ilhan Omar and Sheila Jackson. Also on it was former Rep. Beto O'Rourke and former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Media figures on the list included Scarborough, MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Ari Melber, and CNN's Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones.
On the same day he compiled the list of prominent people, Jan. 17, the defendant performed the following Google searches at the following approximate times, court papers say:
8:54 a.m.: "what if trump illegally impeached"
8:57 a.m.: "best place in dc to see congress people"
8:58 a.m.: "where in dc to congress live"
10:39 a.m.: "civil war if trump impeached"
11:26 a.m.: "social democrats usa"
"The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct," the detention memo says.