Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, August 11, 2021
A U.S. Army veteran who wanted revenge for attacks on Muslims around the globe and was alleged to have planned to detonate a bomb at a Long Beach rally was convicted Wednesday of the attempted mass casualty attack.
Mark Steven Domingo, 28, of Reseda was found guilty by a federal jury of providing material support to terrorism and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He faces a potential life sentence in federal prison at his Nov. 1 sentencing. He has been in federal custody since his arrest in April 2019.
Domingo was arrested after he took delivery of what he thought was an improvised explosive device from an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a bomb maker, officials said.
As part of the plot, Domingo asked his confederate — who was cooperating with the FBI as part of the investigation — to find a bomb maker, and Domingo then purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel inside the explosive device, according to officials.
Prosecutors said Domingo sought retribution for the March 15, 2019, attacks on New Zealand mosques and was willing to die a martyr.
“There must be retribution,” he said in an online post.
In a series of posts, Domingo also said he hoped another event similar to the 2017 slaughter at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas might “kick-off civil unrest” in the U.S.
The rally that Domingo targeted was called the United Patriots National Front and was set to take place in Bluff Park.
But members of the group, which local activists have described as affiliated with white nationalism, did not show up. Instead, about 200 counter-protesters populated the park, but there were no arrests or injuries.
Domingo’s “back-up plan” was to target a demonstration against California’s so-called sanctuary state law, which took place in Huntington Beach.
After federal authorities saw Domingo’s extremist comments online, an informant made contact with him. During a drive on March 18, Domingo pointed out possible targets, including “police cars, churches and a National Guard Armory,” to the person he believed to be his co-conspirator, FBI Special Agent Tasha Coolidge said.