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Tue Mar 12, 2019, 08:07 PM

Coast Guard officer described by prosecutors as 'domestic terrorist' not facing terrorism charges

Coast Guard officer described by prosecutors as ‘domestic terrorist’ not facing terrorism charges
Chris Hasson's case demonstrates the pitfalls prosecutors face when dealing with far-right extremists.
Luke Barnes
Mar 12, 2019, 4:26 pm

The Coast Guard lieutenant who allegedly plotted the murder of prominent Democrats and journalists is facing up to 31 years behind bars — but has not been charged with terrorism.

Christopher Hasson, 49, was arrested last month by federal agents on drugs and weapons charges. In the initial federal detention motion, prosecutors said the charges were the “proverbial tip of the iceberg” and described Hasson as a “domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct.”

The motion went on to describe the hallmarks of far-right extremism which Hasson had allegedly displayed. He was obsessed with Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian far-right terrorist who killed 77 people — mostly teenagers — during an attack in Norway in 2011. Hasson also allegedly made thousands of online searches for neo-fascist and neo-Nazi literature, compiled a hit list of prominent Democrats and journalists, and researched their locations and security arrangements.

Hasson also allegedly amassed an arsenal of rifles, handguns, bulletproof vests and over a thousand rounds of ammunition. He also allegedly acquired the opioid Tramadol and more than 30 bottles of Human Growth Hormone.



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Reply Coast Guard officer described by prosecutors as 'domestic terrorist' not facing terrorism charges (Original post)
babylonsister Mar 2019 OP
BigmanPigman Mar 2019 #1
jberryhill Mar 2019 #2

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Mar 12, 2019, 08:15 PM

1. Gee, why am I not surprised?

Everyone knows that terrorists are only those who are coming in over the border and are brown.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Mar 12, 2019, 08:16 PM

2. Kind of a silly article


Absent some reference to a statute under which he could have been charged, but wasn't charged, then the word "terrorism" is just sort of thrown around without any definition.

To charge someone with a crime, they have to commit the acts which make up the crime.

Here are the US laws relating to "terrorism":


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§ 2331. Definitions
§ 2332. Criminal penalties
§ 2332a. Use of weapons of mass destruction
§ 2332b. Acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries

§ 2332d. Financial transactions
§ 2332e. Requests for military assistance to enforce prohibition in certain emergencies
§ 2332f. Bombings of places of public use, government facilities, public transportation systems and infrastructure facilities
§ 2332g. Missile systems designed to destroy aircraft
§ 2332h. Radiological dispersal devices
§ 2332i. Acts of nuclear terrorism
§ 2333. Civil remedies
§ 2334. Jurisdiction and venue
§ 2335. Limitation of actions
§ 2336. Other limitations
§ 2337. Suits against Government officials
§ 2338. Exclusive Federal jurisdiction
§ 2339. Harboring or concealing terrorists
§ 2339A. Providing material support to terrorists
§ 2339B. Providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations
§ 2339C. Prohibitions against the financing of terrorism
§ 2339D. Receiving military-type training from a foreign terrorist organization

Of the various substantive crimes defined as constituting some form of "terrorism", it's clear that none of them apply to his conduct.

That's why they went with the charges they did.

I mean, sure, in some colloquial sense the guy is a "terrorist", but that doesn't mean that his conduct fits any legal definition of terrorism in 18 US Code.

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