A Los Angeles man was behind bars Monday on suspicion of plotting to carrying out a domestic terrorism bombing during a white-nationalist rally in Long Beach that never materialized.
Mark Steven Domingo, 26, a former U.S. Army infantryman who served in Afghanistan, was arrested Friday after he received what he thought was a bomb, but was actually an inert device supplied to him by an undercover law enforcement officer, federal officials said.
According to a FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Domingo plotted during March and April “to manufacture and use a weapon of mass destruction in order to commit mass murder.”
“On April 23 and 24, 2019, Domingo purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel inside an explosive device, and provided the nails to a person whom Domingo believed to be a collaborator, but who was in fact an undercover law enforcement officer working for the FBI, for the purpose of having the (officer) manufacture weapons of mass destruction for Domingo to use in an upcoming attack,” according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Domingo made a series of online posts and had a series of discussions with an FBI informant describing “his support for violent jihad and his aspiration to conduct an attack in the Los Angeles area.”
One posting referenced the recent fatal attacks at mosques in New Zealand and said “there must be retribution.”
Federal authorities contend Domingo considered a variety of targets — including police officers, churches and a military facility — but ultimately planned to set off an explosive device during what was anticipated to be a white nationalist rally at a Long Beach park on Sunday. The rally never actually materialized, although a number of counterprotesters showed up in anticipation of the gathering.
Federal officials said Domingo was arrested Friday night after an undercover officer delivered inert devices to Domingo, who believed they were actual explosive devices, and the pair traveled to the Long Beach park where the rally was anticipated to conduct surveillance.
Domingo is expected to appear in federal court in downtown Los Angeles Monday afternoon on charges of providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.
At an afternoon news conference, federal officials said Domingo had no known co-conspirators, and there is no lingering threat to the public from the plot.
Updated at 1:55 p.m., Monday, April 29, 2019
–City News Service