Coast Guard Officer Accused Of Terror Plot To Be Freed For Trial

SILVER SPRING, MD — A federal judge on Thursday ordered the pretrial release of the U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling weapons and drugs to launch a domestic terror attack, according to multiple outlets.

Christopher Paul Hasson — a self-proclaimed white nationalist from Silver Spring — has been indicted on illegal firearm and drug charges in February, but hasn’t faced any terrorism-related charges.

While he has “grave concerns” about Hasson’s alleged actions, Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day Day said that the government did not meet a standard for continued detention, according to CNN.

Hasson, however, will not be released immediately.

According to WTOP, the judge has given Hasson’s defense attorney several days to propose appropriate conditions of release. Prosecutors say they plan on appealing the decision.

“U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day stated that he will release Lt. Hasson if the defense can propose suitable conditions of release,” Marcia Murphy with the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland said in a statement, per WTOP. “… If Judge Day does order the defendant’s release, the government intends to appeal such release to the U.S. District Judge presiding over the case, on the basis of the danger to the community posed by the defendant.”

CNN reported that Day said Hasson has “got to have a whole lot of supervision” when he is released, and that he will need “somebody who’s got eyes and ears on him like nobody’s business.”

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Federal prosecutors have repeatedly accused Hasson of being a “domestic terrorist.”

Though Hasson has only been indicted on gun and drug charges, prosecutors insist that these charges are just the “proverbial tip of the iceberg.”

Law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Hasson’s residence in Silver Spring on Feb. 15. A search of the basement apartment he shares with his wife turned up 17 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, according to officials. Hasson was arrested that same day.

According to court documents filed by prosecutors, Hasson planned attacks on the U.S. and targeted presidential candidates Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York; Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts; Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; and Kamala Harris, D-California. Other prominent public figures on the list included MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough and CNN’s Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo.

“The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct,” officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland said.

Court records did not reveal when Hasson planned to strike, but said he has been stockpiling supplies since 2017. Authorities claim that Hasson wanted to establish a “white homeland.”

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