A U.S. Army veteran was plotting a large-scale terror attack in Los Angeles as revenge for the mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.
Mark Steven Domingo boasted about amassing an arsenal of weapons, including 80 pounds of nails for a bomb, to carry out an attack in retaliation for the killing of Muslims by a white supremacist in the city of Christchurch, according to an indictment unsealed on Monday. He also allegedly discussed killing Los Angeles police officers and setting off explosives at the Santa Monica Pier and on local freeways.
"There were mosque shootings in New Zealand," Domingo posted to a private group online on March 14, according to federal prosecutors. "[T]here must be retribution."
Domingo allegedly added: "I feel like I should make a christians life miserable tomorrow for our fallen bros n sis in [N]ew Zealand ... maybe a jews life ... they shed our blood ... no Muslim should have to experience this, a message needs to be sent."
An FBI informant, who was already in the private message group along with an FBI "online covert employee," made contact with Domingo two days later, the indictment says.
Over six weeks of plotting with the informant, Domingo fantasized about murdering a laundry list of perceived enemies, including Christians, Jews, white supremacists, police officers, even his next-door neighbor.
But he struggled to pinpoint a target or develop a plan. Asked if he was intending to get caught, Domingo offered an oddly casual response.
"Martyrdom, bro," Domingo said, according to the indictment.
The former U.S. Army infantryman, who completed a four-month deployment to Afghanistan in January 2013, became obsessed with the idea of getting his hands on an improvised explosive device after the FBI informant said he knew someone who used to make them.
"We'll both make it. I just don't know how," Domingo said in one conversation, according to the indictment. "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. But ask him how. Details ... F-----g to the letter details. Ask him."
Domingo was arrested after he made preparations to attack a "white nationalist rally" in Huntington Beach on April 27. He was charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. The indictment was unsealed roughly six weeks after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, killing 50 people.
The suspect, a 28-year-old Australian national and avowed white supremacist, livestreamed the attack on Facebook using a camera mounted to his helmet. The gunman, identified as Brenton Tarrant, has been charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the mass murder "one of New Zealand's darkest days."
Less than a week later, she announced plans to ban nearly all military-style semi-automatic and assault-style rifles.