A U.S. Army veteran suspected of planning a terror attack in Long Beach intended to inflict "mass casualties" is now facing federal charges that could lead to life in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
A federal grand jury has indicted Mark Steven Domingo, a Reseda resident and 26-year-old former infantryman who served four months in Afghanistan, following his arrest late last month.
Domingo, 26, is accused of plotting an attack at an expected white supremacist rally on April 26 as retribution for the New Zealand mosque shootings that left 51 people dead weeks earlier. An undercover FBI sting thwarted the alleged terror plot.
He received what he believed was a live bomb from an undercover officer who he thought was his co-conspirator, according to prosecutors.
The officer was posing as Domingo's accomplice, prosecutors said, after federal investigators spotted Domingo weeks earlier in an online chatroom where he was calling for violence on American soil.
Domingo had allegedly purchased several hundred nails he thought was going to be used as shrapnel for the supposed bomb and provided them to the undercover officer.
Prior to allegedly planning the bombing, Domingo "expressed support for violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims, and a willingness to become a martyr," federal prosecutors said in a news release.
Authorities have said Domingo had only recently converted to Islam and his younger brother, James, told KTLA he joined the religion sometime late last year or earlier this year.
But, beyond just converting to another religion, Domingo actually descended into a "rapid radicalization" in support of jihad, prosecutors said following his arrest.
The location of the expected April 26 attack, Bluff Park in Long Beach, attracted a group of counterprotesters that day instead. They were rallying against the white supremacists who were expected to show up but never came.
Domingo has been charged with providing material support to terrorists and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, prosecutors said.
He is expected to be arraigned in U.S. District Court on May 31.