Los Angeles

Reseda Terror Suspect Indicted on Federal Charges

A Reseda man who allegedly plotted to carry out a terrorist bombing during a Long Beach political rally was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges of providing material support to terrorists and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Mark Steven Domingo, a 26-year-old Army veteran who had recently converted to Islam, was arrested April 26, the same day he received what he thought was a was a bomb, but was actually an inert device supplied to him by an undercover law enforcement officer.

Federal authorities contend Domingo was planning to set off a nail bomb during a rumored white-supremacist rally April 28 at Bluff Park in Long Beach. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment May 31 in downtown Los Angeles. If convicted of the charges in the indictment, he faces up to life in prison.

According to a FBI affidavit filed last month 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 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."

In early March, he allegedly posted a video online professing his devotion to the Muslim faith, the affidavit states. The following day, he wrote online that "america needs another vegas event ... something to kick off civil unrest ... and its not about winning the civil war its about weakening america and giving them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world."

Federal authorities contend Domingo considered a variety of attack targets -- including shooting police officers, churches and a military facility. According to the federal affidavit, Domingo repeatedly met with a person he believed to be a co-conspirator but who was actually an FBI informant.

During those meetings, Domingo allegedly discussed carrying out a mass-casualty attack and obtaining an explosive device and firearms to carry out the plan. At one point, Domingo allegedly "drew a diagram and explained multiple scenarios for how he could attack police officers," according to the affidavit.

But Domingo ultimately planned to set off an explosive device during what was anticipated to be a white nationalist rally at a Long Beach park. The rally never actually materialized, although a number of counterprotesters showed up in anticipation of the gathering.

Domingo allegedly plotted with the informant to obtain an explosive device and purchased the 3-inch nails that he wanted to be planted inside the bomb to cause more extensive damage and injuries. After later learning the Long Beach rally might be canceled, Domingo and the informant discussed other possible targets, including a Saturday rally in Huntington Beach or a summer attack on the Santa Monica Pier, according to the affidavit.

But on April 24, Domingo told the informant he was again focused on the expected Long Beach rally, the affidavit states. Federal officials said Domingo was arrested April 26 after an undercover officer and the informant delivered inert devices to Domingo, who believed they were actual explosive devices.

The group also traveled to the Long Beach park where the rally was planned so they could conduct surveillance and determine where to place the explosive device so it would cause the most injuries.

"During the drive (to the park), Domingo said the plan was to arrive early in the morning on Sunday, before too many people showed up for the rally, and disguise themselves as counter-protesters," according to the affidavit. "As Domingo drove past the Port of Long Beach, Domingo told (the informant and undercover officer) that if they survived the attack on Sunday, they could conduct further attacks, including at the Long Beach Port, which Domingo said would significantly disrupt the U.S. economy. Domingo also discussed initiating an attack on a train."

While they were at Bluff Park in Long Beach, Domingo said "they should try to find the most 'crowded' areas in order to kill the most people in the attack," according to the affidavit.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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