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US authorities use subterfuge to defeat attempted terrorism

Editorial Staff
Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, a former U.S. Army infantryman with combat experience in Afghanistan, faces federal charges. It is alleged that he expressed support for violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims and a willingness to become a martyr. He was, the authorities allege, developing a terrorist plot in which he planned to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) for the purpose of causing mass casualties.

Domingo considered various attacks including targeting Jews, churches, and police officers before deciding to detonate an IED at a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach, California, this last weekend. As part of the plot, Domingo asked his someone who was in fact working with the FBI to find a bomb-maker. Last week, Domingo purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel inside the IED. The nails were three inches long which, Domingo said "would be long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs," say the FBI. He then delivered the nails for passing onto the bomb maker.

According to the FBI "Domingo sent a message on Thursday indicating that the operation was to proceed, according to the affidavit. On Friday evening, the undercover operative delivered multiple inert devices, which Domingo believed were weapons of mass destruction. After inspecting the devices and travelling to a park in Long Beach to surveil the location of the planned attack, Domingo was taken into custody."

He claimed that "there must be retribution" after the murderous attacks in Christchurch last month and said that the USA "needed another Las Vegas" to "give them a taste of the terror they spread all over the world." In April, meeting the FBI's source, he allegedly expressed support for ISIS and said “if ISIS ‘came here,’ he would swear allegiance to ISIS,” according to the complaint.

The plan to target the rally was formulated in a meeting on 19th April, when Domingo arrived to a meeting with the CHS armed with an AK-47-style rifle “to show you that I’m serious,” according to the complaint. During that meeting, Domingo made reference the Boston Marathon bombing and asked the FBI's source to find a person to construct an IED that could cause fifty casualties.

“Domingo, a former U.S. Army Infantryman, wanted to use improvised explosive devices against innocent civilians and he selected components that would make the bombs even more deadly to the victims he targeted,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.

His deterioration into whatever state of mind resulted in this actions took a period of time but accelerated during March and April 2019. His first overt sign of possible trouble was on 2nd March when he posted a video saying that he had converted to Islam and the next day posted another in which he first made the comments about "another vegas (sic) event."

Domingo is not being charged with an offence of terrorism per se. The charges relate to providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, a surprising course of action as the facts appear to demonstrate that he was the prime mover. Even so, the maximum sentence for the charges as laid is fifteen years jail.

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