Two details make this more frightening than the average “lone wolf interested in mayhem” indictment. One is the suspect’s list of “traitors” inspired by Anders Breivik and brimming with all sorts of familiar names — Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker, among many others, but also Trump antagonists on MSNBC like Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, and Joe Scarborough. A question always asked when charges like this are brought is “How serious was he?” Answer: Allegedly serious enough to have started googling around to find out where “Morning Joe” is broadcast and where the best place in D.C. is to see members of Congress.
The other extra-scary part is the evidence that he was getting close to acting. Breivik’s manifesto includes passages about taking steroids to raise his level of aggression so that he’d actually follow through on mass murder rather than just fantasizing about it. The feds found more than 30 vials of human growth hormone in a locked container owned by the suspect, Christopher Hasson.
Authorities seized 15 firearms, including several long guns and rifles, and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition from his cramped basement apartment after executing a search warrant this month. Over the past two years, he had made nearly two dozen purchases of firearms or related equipment and made thousands of visits to websites selling weapons or tactical gear…
In an email he drafted in June 2017, he contemplated biological attacks and targeting food supplies, according to the court filings. He considered the merits of a “bombing/sniper campaign.” And included a “Things to do” list that included purchasing land “out west or possibly NC mtns” for family and researching tactics used during the civil war in Ukraine…
“I never saw a reason for mass protest or wearing uniforms marching around provoking people with swastikas etc.,” Hasson said in [a] letter [written after the Charlottesville neo-Nazi demonstration] according to court filings. “I was and am a man of action you cannot change minds protesting like that. However you can make change with a little focused violence.”
The indictment is only 15 pages long so read through it. Trump is also mentioned, although not as a potential target. It’s not clear right now how much of a fan Hasson was — obviously he had a well-developed white nationalist fantasy agenda independent of partisan politics — but two of the Google searches he ran were “what if trump illegally impeached” and “civil war if trump impeached”. This story will be covered closely on cable news, including by some of the people on Hasson’s list, and they’re going to point back to tweets like this:
No matter how many times Trump is asked to dial it down for fear of lighting up the homicidal crazies, even though we’ve been down this road before, he keeps pumping the “enemy of the people” point. Should be an extra zesty edition of Scarborough’s show tomorrow.
By the way, if you’re wondering how the feds sniffed out Hasson before he started shooting, the indictment never says. Best guess: They discovered him buying Tramadol illegally (that’s also mentioned in the indictment) and a routine investigation eventually led them to his weapons cache and terror plotting. Imagine if the guy was clean.