Federal and local law enforcement agencies said they thwarted a terror plot targeting white supremacists in California by an Army veteran who converted to Islam and wanted retribution for the New Zealand mosque attacks.
Prosecutors said Monday that Mark Domingo, 26, of Reseda, was arrested by an undercover officer, who was posing as a bomb-maker, on Friday night,
Authorities said Domingo was handcuffed after he took a delivery of what he thought was a live bomb from the agent.
Domingo had plans to plant the bomb at a Nazi rally on Sunday in Long Beach, officials said.
White nationalists never showed up to the planned event in Bluff Park, but a large group of counter protesters demonstrated.
Court papers say Domingo discussed several types of attacks with an informant that included targeting Jews, churches and police officers.
He said he wanted revenge for attacks on mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people last month.
Prosecutors said Monday that Mark Domingo, 26, was arrested on Friday for planning to plant a bomb at a Nazi rally Sunday in Long Beach. Domingo allegedly told an FBI informant that he wanted to kill LAPD officers and set off more explosives along freeways in Los Angeles
White nationalists never showed up to the planned event in Bluff Park, but a large group of counter protesters (pictured) demonstrated
According to prosecutors, Domingo said he was willing to become a martyr.
‘There must be retribution,’ he wrote on an online post, authorities said. He also allegedly express allegiance for Islamic State.
Domingo reportedly wrote that ‘America needs another vegas event …[to] give them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world’.
He was referring to the Route 91 concert massacre that claimed the lives of 58 people in 2017.
Police also said during a Monday afternoon press conference that Domingo had posted about potential attacks in online chat rooms.
These posts are what led authorities to send an informant to conduct a series of meetings with Domingo.
He allegedly told the informant that he thought about blowing up popular attraction, Santa Monica Pier.
Other conversations included Domingo telling the informant that he wanted to kill officers from the LAPD and set off more explosives along freeways in Los Angeles.
When investigators asked Domingo if he was intending to get caught, he responded: ‘Martyrdom, bro.’
Domingo, an infantryman who served a combat stint in Afghanistan in 2013, has been charged with providing material support to terrorists.
Domingo (pictured), an infantryman who served in Afghanistan, has been charged with providing material support to terrorists
According to a criminal complaint, Domingo told investigators that he had been planning since March to ‘manufacture and use a weapon of mass destruction in order to commit mass murder’.
Domingo allegedly bought parts, including nails, for an improvised explosive device that would be remotely triggered, but in fact contained inert materials, FBI agent Tasha Coolidge said in an affidavit filed in US District Court in Los Angeles.
‘Domingo said he specifically bought three-inch nails because they would be long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs,’ the affidavit states.
In some of the conversations with the informant, Domingo talked about finding someone to make the explosives.
‘I’ll be honest. I’m smart in history but I failed chemistry. Science is not my forte…If he doesn’t want to make it, don’t force him,’ he allegedly told the informant.
‘But ask him how. Details…F**king to the letter details. Ask him.’
If they survived the planned bombing at Bluff Park, Domingo discussed launching further attacks on the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles or on a train.
‘We’ll both make it. I just don’t know how,’ Domingo said in another conversation, court papers show.
A message left on a phone listed for Domingo was not immediately returned.
‘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,’ said US Attorney Nick Hanna.
‘Protecting Americans from terror attacks is the number one priority of the Justice Department, and anyone who plots to use a weapon of mass destruction will be held to account.’
The news of Domingo’s alleged domestic terror plot comes less than 48 hours after John Earnest, 19, was arrested for allegedly shooting dead one woman and injuring three others at a synagogue in San Diego.
Earnest was identified by police as the gunman who burst into the Chabad of Poway near San Diego on Saturday, the last day of Passover, and opened fire with an assault-style rifle.
About 100 congregants were worshiping when the gunman killed Lori Kaye, 60, and wounded the synagogue’s rabbi, Yishoel Goldstein; eight-year-old Noya Dahan; and her uncle Almog Peretz.