An Army veteran from Reseda who allegedly plotted to carry out a terrorist bombing during a Long Beach white supremacist rally pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges.
Mark Domingo, 26, an infantryman who served a combat stint in Afghanistan, was arrested in April after visiting a park in Long Beach where authorities said he planned to conceal home-made explosive devices made with nail-filled pressure cookers in advance of a Nazi rally, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Domingo, his hair in two long braids and wearing glasses, appeared in a courtroom in downtown Los Angeles to enter his plea to federal charges of providing material support to terrorists and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He is being held in federal custody pending trial tentatively set for July 23. A criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court alleged that Domingo had been planning since March to “manufacture and use a weapon of mass destruction in order to commit mass murder.”
If convicted of the two counts in the May 22 indictment, he faces up to life in prison.
Domingo’s attorney at the Office of the Federal Public Defender did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the 30-page affidavit filed in the case, 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.”
Federal authorities contend Domingo considered a variety of attack targets — including police officers, churches and a military facility.
The affidavit alleges that Domingo repeatedly met with a person he believed to be a co-conspirator but who was actually an FBI informant. During those meetings, Domingo discussed carrying out a mass-casualty attack and obtaining an explosive device and firearms to carry out the plan, federal prosecutors said.
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 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 Long Beach rally, the affidavit alleges.
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 devices to cause the most injuries.
“During the drive (to the park), Domingo said the plan was to arrive early in the morning 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.
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