Mark Stephen Domingo of Reseda, California was arrested on Friday while taking possession of what he believed to be a live bomb, according to papers filed by the Department of Justice. The 26 year old veteran has been charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.
Domingo had been a member of the Army Infantry, and had been deployed to Afghanistan between September 2012 and January 2013. His shift in allegiance was made clear by his efforts regarding the bomb; he had requested a device energetic enough to kill at least fifty people, and had additionally purchased several hundred three-inch nails to be placed around the device in an effort to create further shrapnel injuries.
According to the DoJ press release, Domingo posted a video online on March 2, expressing his devotion to the Muslim faith and a support for jihad. Following the New Zealand mosque attacks on March 13, he declared a need for retribution. This caught the attention of the FBI, who approached him about his intent. During the first meeting, on March 18, “Domingo discussed with the CHS (Confidential Human Source) different targets for an attack, including Jews, police officers, churches, and a military facility,”
He eventually decided on a white nationalist rally being held in Bluff Park, Long Beach on Sunday, April 28. The rally was organized by Drake Nighswonger and his United Patriot National Front, and was to be protested by various “Antifa” groups. The UPNF did not show up, but there were multiple targets available in the counterprotesters, as was demonstrated by a KABC story on the event. Antifa vs. nationalist rallies have been the sources of large, violent clashes, and due to the highly charged partisan nature of the events it was seen as a potential flashpoint for the type of “Vegas-style event” Domingo desired.
Domingo’s intent was to use the existing political divisions as an exploitable resource for anti-American violence.