FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Arrests California Man Planning Attack

Mark Steven Domingo of Reseda, California faces federal charges of providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Undercover FBI agents and cooperatives foiled Domingo’s plans to commit a mass murder with improvised explosive devices (IED) in his area.

According to a Department of Justice release, Domingo made several online posts and had conversations with an FBI source expressing his support for violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims, and a willingness to become a martyr.

Domingo had been considering committing an attack targeted at “Jews, churches, and police officers” before deciding to detonate an IED at a rally in Long Beach scheduled for this past weekend. To carry out this attack, Domingo requested his online friend – an individual cooperating with the FBI – find a bomb maker. Last week Domingo purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel inside the IED.

“Domingo said he specifically bought three-inch nails because they would be long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs,” the DOJ release notes.

Domingo provided the nails to an undercover operative for use in the construction of the bomb and sent a note last week indicating the operation was a go. On Friday of last week, the undercover operative delivered multiple devices to Domingo, who believed he was receiving weapons of mass destruction.

Domingo inspected the devices, travelled to Long Beach for surveillance and began planning the attack’s execution when he was taken into custody. Domingo is a former U.S. Army infantryman with combat experience in Afghanistan.

“This investigation successfully disrupted a very real threat posed by a trained combat soldier who repeatedly stated he wanted to cause the maximum number of casualties,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna.  “Protecting Americans from terror attacks is the number one priority of the Justice Department, and anyone who plots to use a weapon of mass destruction will be held to account.”

According to the complaint, Domingo had made several videos in the month of March professing his Muslim faith and saying “America needs another Vegas event” (referring to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada) that would give “them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world.”  Following the attack on a New Zealand mosque on March 13, Domingo posted, “there must be retribution.”

A confidential FBI human source began conversing with Domingo online after these postings and met with Domingo in March to discuss targets for an attack, including Jewish people, police officers, churches, and a military facility.

During a subsequent meeting, Domingo carried with him an AK-47 style rifle to “show you that I’m serious.” It was in this meeting that Domingo inquired about a bomb similar to the one used in the Boston marathon bombing.

“The individual charged in this case wanted to carry out a mass casualty attack with explosive devices, and he moved very quickly from talking about violence to mobilizing to commit such an attack,” said Assistant Director Michael McGarrity of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.  “This case should remind the public of the need to be vigilant and notify law enforcement if you see suspicious behavior.”

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes special agents with the FBI and officers with the Los Angeles Police Department. The Joint Terrorism Task Force members who participated in the investigation include the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Long Beach Police Department.

Posted in The Takedown

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