Los Angeles Army vet arrested in bombing plot against Long Beach rally

LOS ANGELES -- A Reseda man was behind bars Monday on suspicion of plotting to carrying out a domestic terrorism bombing during a white-nationalist rally in Long Beach that never materialized.

Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, a former U.S. Army infantryman who served in Afghanistan, was arrested Friday after he received what he thought was a bomb, but was actually an inert device supplied to him by an undercover law enforcement officer, federal officials said.

According to a FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Domingo plotted during March and April "to manufacture and use a weapon of mass destruction in order to commit mass murder."

"On April 23 and 24, 2019, Domingo purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel inside an explosive device, and provided the nails to a person whom Domingo believed to be a collaborator, but who was in fact an undercover law enforcement officer working for the FBI, for the purpose of having the (officer) manufacture weapons of mass destruction for Domingo to use in an upcoming attack," according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Domingo made a series of online posts and had a series of discussions with an FBI informant describing "his support for violent jihad and his aspiration to conduct an attack in the Los Angeles area."

One posting referenced the recent fatal attacks at mosques in New Zealand and said "there must be retribution."

In early March, he allegedly wrote online that "america needs another vegas event ... something to kick off civil unrest ... and its not about winning the civil war its about weakening america and giving them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world."

Federal authorities contend Domingo considered a variety of targets -- including police officers, churches and a military facility.

According to the federal affidavit, Domingo met with a person he believed to be a co-conspirator but who was actually an FBI informant. During those meetings, Domingo allegedly discussed carrying out a mass-casualty attack and obtaining an explosive device and firearms to carry out the plan.

At one point, Domingo allegedly "drew a diagram and explained multiple scenarios for how he could attack police officers," according to the affidavit.

But Domingo ultimately planned to set off an explosive device during what was anticipated to be a white nationalist rally at a Long Beach park on Sunday. The rally never actually materialized, although a number of counterprotesters showed up in anticipation of the gathering.

Domingo allegedly plotted with the informant to obtain an explosive device and purchased the 3-inch nails that could be planted inside a bomb to cause more extensive damage and injuries. After later learning that the Long Beach rally might be canceled, Domingo and the informant discussed other possible targets, including a Saturday rally in Huntington Beach or a summer attack on the Santa Monica Pier, according to the affidavit.

But on April 24, Domingo told the informant he was again focused on the expected Long Beach rally, the affidavit states.

Federal officials said Domingo was arrested Friday night after an undercover officer and the informant delivered inert devices to Domingo, who believed they were actual explosive devices, and they traveled to the Long Beach park where the rally was anticipated to conduct surveillance.

"During the drive, Domingo said the plan was to arrive early in the morning on Sunday, before too many people showed up for the rally, and disguise themselves as counter-protesters," according to the affidavit. "As Domingo drove past the Port of Long Beach, Domingo told (the informant and undercover officer) that if they survived the attack on Sunday, they could conduct further attacks, including at the Long Beach Port, which Domingo said would significantly disrupt the U.S. economy. Domingo also discussed initiating an attack on a train."

While they were at Bluff Park in Long Beach, Domingo said "they should try to find the most `crowded' areas in order to kill the most people in the attack," according to the affidavit.

Domingo is expected to appear in federal court in downtown Los Angeles Monday afternoon on charges of providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

At an afternoon news conference, federal officials said Domingo had no known co-conspirators, and there is no lingering threat to the public from the plot.

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