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Ex-Army soldier arrested in terror plot targeting multiple Southern California sites

Posted at 11:52 AM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 20:35:19-04

LOS ANGELES (KGTV and Wire Reports) -- Authorities have broken up a "chilling" domestic terror plot against multiple targets in Southern California, officials announced Monday afternoon.

Mark Steven Domingo, 26, a former U.S. Army infantryman who served in Afghanistan, was arrested by federal agents Friday while finalizing plans to plant a bomb at a white nationalist rally that had been scheduled Sunday in Long Beach.

Domingo allegedly sought revenge for attacks on mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people last month.

He was arrested on a charge of providing material support to terrorists and a criminal complaint said he had been planning since March 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 court documents.

According to officials, Sunday's white nationalist rally never materialized drawing only dozens of counterprotesters.

Authorities said Domingo came up on their "radar" following violent jihad statements he allegedly posted online after the New Zealand attacks. He also 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," according to court documents.

Officials said Domingo discussed with an informant different types of attacks that included targeting Jews, churches and police officers. Domingo also discussed launching further attacks on the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles or on a train.

Domingo allegedly bought parts, including three inch long nails aimed to penetrate human body organs, for an improvised explosive device that would be remotely triggered. He had no known conspirators, authorities said.

The suspect was under constant surveillance during the two-month investigation which involved multiple agencies including the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department and the U.S. Attorney Office, ABC News reported.

Officials said Domingo served four months in Afghanistan in 2012.

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.

Information from the Associated Press and ABC News was used in this report.