Filipino veteran appears in court on terrorism charges

RESEDA, CALIF. — A Filipino American US Army veteran appeared in federal court on Monday on terrorism charges.

The US Justice Department says that Mark Steven Domingo had been expressing support for ISIS, and was plotting to create improvised explosive devices, to carry out terrorist attacks.

“At times, Mr. Domingo said that he wanted to kill Jews, as they walked to synagogue. At other times he said he wanted to kill and target police officers, attack a military facility or attack crowds at the Santa Monica Pier. He even wanted to murder a neighbor, which he said could serve as a prelude to a much larger attack,” said Atty. Nick Hanna. All of these plans were related to Mr. Domingo’s stated belief in violent jihad and that Americans should pay for attacks on Muslims around the world. Following the attack at two mosques in New Zealand last month, he wrote ‘there must be retribution.

An FBI online covert employee had discovered Domingo allegedly making multiple online posts about his support for ISIS.

As agents continued communication with him, they say Domingo would often talk about plans for jihad.

He was arrested on Friday after buying what he thought were explosives from an undercover agent.

“He was taken into custody after he took receipt of what he thought were pressure cooker bombs and after he traveled to Long Beach to survey the site where his intended vicitms were to congregate. Mr. Domingo had requested the construction of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) which he planned to use in the attack. He allegedly purchased several hundred 3-inch-long nails to be used in the IEDs as shrapnel, specifically because the nails were long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs. But fortunately, the IEDs that he planned to use weren’t actual bombs, they were inert devices provided by the FBI that posed no danger to the public.”

Domingo could face 15 years in federal prison if convicted.

After his initial court appearance on Monday, Domingo is expected to return at the end of May for his arraignment.

The family has released a statement saying that they don’t know what was going on and are surprised by the arrest. They have requested for privacy.

Off camera neighbors also said they were surprised by the arrest, and were concerned that killing a neighbor was among Domingo’s alleged plots.

Some of them have since spoken to the FBI who’s assured them that they are safe.

The suspect’s younger brother did tell reporters outside their home that he was hoping Domingo’s recent conversion would have provided them guidance.

Authorities say the Long Beach target was the only active plot Domingo was connected with there are no specific immediate threats at this moment. They urge the public that when it comes to cases like this to remain vigilant and if they see something, say something. 

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