The suspect is a 26-year-old ex-military man converted to Islam who wanted to run “a new Las Vegas” in revenge for the attacks on mosques in New Zealand, according to the investigation
The security forces arrested a 26-year-old former US military man accused of plotting a bomb attack in the Los Angeles area last Friday to avenge the recent attacks on mosques in New Zealand. The case, announced Monday by the FBI, comes only two days after an attack on a synagogue in San Diego in which one person died and three others were injured, and amid warnings about the increase in religious violence in the country fueled by social networks.
The suspect is named Mark Steven Domingo. He is a veteran of Afghanistan and had converted to Islam, according to the researchers. He was arrested when he received a package that he thought was a homemade bomb that he had ordered. Actually, the supposed bomb maker was an undercover cop. Domingo had commissioned an accomplice to find him a bomb maker. Last week he had bought hundreds of 7.6-centimeter nails to use as shrapnel. The accomplice was collaborating with the police.
According to court documents cited by the local press, Domingo sought “revenge” for the attacks of a white supremacist against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15. According to his trail on social networks, he had sworn obedience to the terrorist organization Islamic State. “America needs another event like Las Vegas,” Domingo wrote, referring to the largest shooting massacre in the country’s history in peacetime, the attack against a country concert in that city in October 2017 in which 58 people died Domingo wanted to “give them to prove the terror they spread throughout the world.”
The FBI began to follow Domingo through an alleged accomplice as a result of his activity in social networks. In that time, several objectives were marked. According to sources of the security forces quoted by the Los Angeles Times, he was considering attacking Santa Monica Pier, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern California. He also made plans for a mass shooting with an AK-47 from a car. Finally, it was decided to attack two demonstrations, one in Long Beach and another in Huntington Beach, in the Los Angeles area.
The central California federal prosecutor, Nick Hanna, said the arrest had prevented “a very real threat from a trained combat soldier, who repeatedly stated that he wanted to cause the maximum number of victims.”