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Coast Guard officer suspected of terror plot allowed pre-trial release

Firearms and ammunition belonging to Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson were presented during the motion for detention pending trial.

U.S. DISTRICT COURT/AP

By KATE FELDMAN | New York Daily News | Published: April 25, 2019

NEW YORK (Tribune News Service) — Christopher Hasson, the U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant who stands accused of planning to launch a mass domestic terror attack, will be released, a judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Day ruled that the government could not hold Hasson any longer after not charging him with terrorism; the Maryland U.S. attorney’s office confirmed to the New York Daily News last week that Hasson had not been charged with any terrorism-related offenses.

Hasson, 49, pleaded not guilty last month to unlawful possession of silencers, possession of firearms by a drug addict and unlawful user and possession of a controlled substance, charges that officials previously called “the proverbial tip of the iceberg.”

Law enforcement officials found 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition at his Silver Spring, Md., apartment earlier this month, along with a list of “prominent Democratic congressional leaders, activists, political organizations, and MSNBC and CNN media personalities,” including Sens. Tim Kaine, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, as well as Rep. Maxine Waters, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, CNN hosts Chris Cuomo, Van Jones and Don Lemon, MSNBC host Chris Hayes and former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

But terrorism charges were never filed.

In new court documents filed Tuesday, prosecutors also alleged that Hasson had searched online for the addresses of two Supreme Court justices, as well as the “best” gun to kill black people.

Four days after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., Hasson searched the phrases “white homeland” and “when are whites going to wake up,” according to the court documents. In November 2017, he allegedly searched “please god let there be a race war.”

It’s unclear when Hasson will be released or under what conditions.

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A sketch of Christopher Paul Hasson in court.
ART LIEN / WBAL TV

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