More alarming details in the case against a a U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant who was accused of hoarding weapons that were illegal for him to own in the attempt to eventually plot and carry out a terrorist attack were laid bare in a court filing by the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland.
Christopher Paul Hasson is currently charged in a four-count indictment of illegal possession of registered and unmarked silencers, illegal possession of 17 firearms by an unlawful user or addicted of controlled substances, and simple possession of a controlled substance. Prosecutors say Hasson had harbored extremist views, connecting with and researching white supremacists and looking into potential political targets to hurt or kill.
Prosecutors said Hasson had a hit list that included several prominent Democratic politicians and media figures.
Hasson was arrested in late February and detained, though prosecutors were told to make a stronger case within 14 days if they wanted to continue holding him.
At a hearing in early March, Hasson pleaded not guilty to the charges. He remained detained after that hearing.
In a motion filed April 23 to reconsider Hasson’s detention order, U.S. Attorney Robert Hur catalogued Hasson’s purchase of weapons and silencers, explaining how the silencers needed after-market modification in order to be used. There was proof Hasson had modified some of the silencers and had test fired at least one.
“The silencers server one purpose: to murder quietly,” said Hur in the motion. “The defendant intended to do so on a mass scale, and his detention has thwarted his unlawful desire.”
Of the 17 weapons Hasson is alleged to have collected, Hur’s filing notes six that were purchased outside of Maryland. A Remington shotgun and a Stag Arms rifle were purchased in California in 2009. An H&K handgun, a Glock handgun, a Springfield handgun, and a Bergara rifle where purchased in Virginia between 2015 and 2017. Hasson was not allowed to purchase and accrue these weapons as he was a known addict of Tramadol. Hur said Hasson continued to purchase and use Tramadol up until his arrest on Feb. 15.
Hasson’s associations and fascinations with known White Nationalists, in particularly his interaction with a known American neo-Nazi leader were detialed in the motion, including writing him a letter saying “I fully support the idea of a white homeland,” and saying he has friends who “play at being a skinhead at 40 plus years old.”
The motion tells the story of Hasson’s interactions with a man referred to as “Missouri,” a “skin-head,” recounting an evening where the two met at a house, and, after a confrontation, Missouri attempted to shoot and eventually pistol whipped the home owner. In September of 1995, Missouri was convicted in Virginia of attempted murder, maiming, and firearms charges.
Hur said Missouri spoke with the FBI in March of 2019 about his interactions with Hasson.
“When that relative passed the information on to [Hasson],” Hur wrote, “[Hasson]’s first word were: ‘Oh sh*t.’”
A catalogue of Hasson’s internet search history “lays bare his views on race,” Hur writes in a footnote of the motion. Searches included “white homeland,” “when are whites going to wake up,” “please god let there be a race war,” and an inquiry about the best type of gun to kill black people, phrased as hatefully as possible.
“It cannot go unnoticed that the terrorist who perpetrated the New Zealand attacks in March 2019 was a devotee of far-right Norwegian domestic terrorist,” Hur wrote, “whom, as discussed in the Motion for Detention, [Hasson] also took criminal direction.”