At A Glance | February 25

US Coast Guard Lieutenant From Maryland Accused of Plotting Domestic Terrorist Attack

A US Coast Guard Lieutenant arrested on weapon and drug charges is accused of planning a domestic terrorist attack that targeted politicians and journalists. Federal prosecutors said Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, of Silver Spring, Maryland, is a self-identified white nationalist who began stockpiling weapons (pictured) and researching information on members of the media and Democratic Party, including US Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, in 2017. Authorities said Hasson espoused extremist and white supremacist views for years, and cited a draft email from June 2017 that stated, “I am dreaming of a way to kill every last person on earth,” according to court documents. In another draft email, Hasson wrote an American neo-Nazi leader, “We need a white homeland as Europe seems lost.” Law enforcement agents found 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in a search of Hasson’s house, according to court documents. Hasson was reportedly inspired by Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011 in a bombing and mass shooting. Authorities arrested and charged Hasson on February 15 with illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance; however, government officials called those charges “the proverbial tip of the iceberg.”

2 Men Arrested at Newark Airport for Trying to Get Loaded Guns Past Security

Authorities at Newark (Essex County) Liberty International Airport arrested two men accused of packing loaded handguns in their luggage on February 18. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers found a .45-caliber handgun inside a carry-on bag as it went through a checkpoint X-ray machine. Authorities said the gun was loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber. Officers with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department arrested Roman Shpigel, 39, of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, at around 8 a.m. Nearly six hours later, TSA officers discovered a loaded .22-caliber handgun in another piece of carry-on luggage. Port Authority Police arrested Jesse Michael McClain, 38, of Fort Pierce, Florida. TSA officials said the incidents are not related. These are the first two gun-related arrests at the Newark airport this year. In 2018, 14 guns were seized at the airport, while seven were found in 2017.

Pittsburgh-Area School District Target of 2 Separate Threats

Two individuals have been charged in separate incidents involving threats of violence against a Pittsburgh-area school district and students. On February 20, authorities arrested Matthew Dobos, 19, on charges that include terroristic threats and witness intimidation after police said he threatened to kill former classmates and place a bomb at Keystone Oaks High School. Detectives said Dobos sent the threats through Facebook from a computer at a local library on multiple occasions in January. Authorities said these charges are unrelated to an incident that prompted the closure of all schools in the Keystone Oaks School District on February 19. A student, who has not been identified due to his age, is charged with making terroristic threats after authorities investigated a tip about of threat of violence posted on a YouTube Live stream. Police did not release details about the threat.

For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Intelligence Management Bureau at or 609-584-4000.