Planned Lone-Wolf (?) Jihadist Attack in L.A. Thwarted

"Domingo discussed with the [confidential informant] different targets for an attack, including Jews, police officers, churches, and a military facility."

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

From the Justice Department (UPDATE: and see also the full Criminal Complaint):

Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, California, [a former U.S. Army infantryman with combat experience in Afghanistan,] was arrested Friday night after he received what he thought was a live bomb, but in fact was an inert explosive device that was delivered by an undercover law enforcement officer as part of an investigation by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force….

In a criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors on April 27, 2019, and unsealed earlier today, Domingo was charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. … According to a 30-page affidavit in support of the complaint, since early March, Domingo "planned and took steps to manufacture and use a weapon of mass destruction in order to commit mass murder."

In online posts and in conversations with an FBI source, Domingo expressed support for violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims, and a willingness to become a martyr, according to the affidavit.  After considering various attacks – including targeting Jews, churches, and police officers – Domingo decided to detonate an IED at a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach this past weekend. As part of the plot, Domingo asked his confederate – who actually was cooperating with the FBI as part of the investigation – to find a bomb-maker, and Domingo last week purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel inside the IED.

"Domingo said he specifically bought three-inch nails because they would be long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs," the affidavit states.

After Domingo provided the nails to the undercover operative for use in the construction of the bomb, Domingo sent a message on Thursday indicating that the operation was to proceed, according to the affidavit.  On Friday evening, the undercover operative delivered multiple inert devices, which Domingo believed were weapons of mass destruction.  After inspecting the devices and travelling to a park in Long Beach to surveil the location of the planned attack, Domingo was taken into custody.

According to the criminal complaint, Domingo posted an online video professing his Muslim faith on March 2, and the next day made another posting in which he said "America needs another vegas event" (referring to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada) that would give "them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world."  Following an attack on a mosque in New Zealand on March 13, Domingo posted, "there mustbe retribution."

In response to the postings, an FBI "confidential human source" (CHS) began an online conversation that resulted in a series of in-person meetings with Domingo.  During the first meeting, on March 18, "Domingo discussed with the CHS different targets for an attack, including Jews, police officers, churches, and a military facility," according to the affidavit.

During subsequent meetings outlined in the affidavit, Domingo continued to express his desire to commit a terrorist act, at points contemplating a drive-by shooting with a modified AK-47-style rifle he owned, and at other points considering the use of an IED.  During an April 3 meeting, Domingo allegedly expressed support for ISIS and said "if ISIS 'came here,' he would swear allegiance to ISIS," according to the complaint.

The plan to target the rally came into shape during an April 19 meeting, when Domingo arrived to a meeting with the CHS armed with an AK-47-style rifle "to show you that I'm serious," according to the complaint.  During that meeting, Domingo referenced the Boston Marathon bombing and asked the CHS to find a person to construct an IED that he said could cause 50 casualties….

According to ABC-7 (Carlos Granda & Rob Hayes),

"At times, Mr. Domingo said he wanted to kill Jews as they walked to synagogue. At other times, he said he wanted to kill and target police officers, attack a military facility or attack crowds at the Santa Monica Pier."

The Pier is less than four miles from our house, and we used to go there often with our boys. Cuts close to home ….

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  1. Yes. I read about that.

    Throw the guy under the jail.

    But what is the point of this post?

    1. No point dhimmi, only a tiny vanishingly small minuscule infinitesimal 38% of RoPers believe that suicide bombings are justified. There should be no opposition to importing as many radical jihadists as fast as we can. Nothing to see, move along.

      1. Your comment is incoherent.

        Do you have a point?

        1. Not one that you’d be capable of understanding. Sometimes it is too tiring to talk down to you. The inability to use pictures really hurts in our attempts to explain most anything to you.

        2. I believe his point is “brown Muslims bad.”

    2. Usually bloggers post about things they have a reaction to, and EV might tend to react to a planned mass casualty attack in his own neighborhood.

      But then EV forgot he’s not supposed to blog about things Bernard doesn’t want him to blog about.

      1. Except that there is no reaction from Eugene in this post. He says nothing at all about the case.

        1. “The Pier is less than four miles from our house, and we used to go there often with our boys. Cuts close to home ….”

          It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out why an ethnic Jew in LA might have found the news that an Islamist in LA wanted to kill Jews startling.

          1. Chilling rather than startling.

            Still, he ought not, on this blog, have failed to address the legal issue, which is entrapment.

            Which defense probably fails, particularly if the “AK-47-style rifle” isn’t merely an unmodified AR-15. But, again, writing here, EV ought to have addressed it.

            1. It’s a big law out there. Maybe EV doesn’t have any expertise in criminal law entrapment defenses. A legal scholar who values his reputation doesn’t weigh in on matters in which they don’t have any specialized expertise.

              Not being a lawyer and knowing that you are thirsting for an authoritative opinion, I’ll venture to state that there is no possible entrapment defense when the perp carefully shops for 3″ nails and supplies them to the bomb maker in order to make sure the bomb will be lethal enough to kill enough people that he won’t be disappointed in the death toll.

  2. Just another peaceful electrical fault, nothing to see here.

  3. Back when I was still in law school, there was a similar case in Portland, OR (the would-be bomber wanted to blow up the Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in the downtown plaza, an event that draws thousands. The FBI gave him a real bomb, and blew up some sand dunes, then gave him a fake one to take to the event, so he really thought he had a live bomb. STILL some people cried “entrapment”.

    The “high” point… the people who turned him in were Muslims who overheard his would-be-terrorist talk in the mosque. What they got as reward was having the mosque firebombed once it was established in the news that the would-be bomber had attended that mosque.

    1. A crime requires means, motive (intent) and opportunity.

      A case where a defendant would lack intent but for the intervention of government agents is clearly seen as entrapment.

      I don’t understand why most people don’t see it as entrapment when the defendant would have been without either means or opportunity but for the intervention of government agents.

      1. The reason you’re not getting any traction in your “no means or opportunity” theory is because it’s silly.

        Arguing that a bloke in America has no means of engaging in a terrorist act? Yeah, weapons are SO hard to come by.

        1. If that’s so, please explain why the specific suspect in this case didn’t actually attempt any terrorist attacks until he had interacted with federal agents who actually supplied him with what he thought was a bomb?

          1. Was the AR-15 he presumably had actually modified to fire full-auto? Or had he, after Vegas, acquired a bump stock?

            Is it your position that only after he actually carried out an attack that prosecution of him would have been warranted?

            What, exactly, is YOUR red line?

            1. “What, exactly, is YOUR red line?”

              Basically the same criteria as criminal conspiracy charge: an affirmative act in furtherance of preparing for an attack, but with the requirement that said act must happen without either prompting by government officials or the assistance of government officials.

          2. “If that’s so, please explain why the specific suspect in this case didn’t actually attempt any terrorist attacks until he had interacted with federal agents”

            Because this specific suspect ran into a law-enforcement agent before running into an actual terrorist, and didn’t know how to tell them apart.
            I mentioned earlier that I was in law school when a similar would-be terrorist was arrested in my former hometown of Portland, OR. I didn’t mention that one of my law professors at the time was the USA for Oregon at the time, and we had an interesting classroom discussion about the nature of attempt, and how a suspect can remain innocent of attempt if they change their mind right before the big moment. So the FBI (or other law-enforcement agency) has to let the suspect actually attempt to commit the crime, but also has to prevent the suspect from committing the crime. So they give the jackass a perfectly real detonator hooked up to a totally real-looking explosive device.

            1. ” but also has to prevent the suspect from committing the crime.”

              No they don’t. In point of fact, they would be legally immune from any tort claims for failing to prevent it.

              However, even if there were such a requirement, that wouldn’t necessarily make it legitimate for the FBI to do so in the manner described, and still prosecute the suspect.

              1. “No they don’t”

                Yes, they do. What a silly claim.

  4. Does Prof. Volokh mention apprehensions of right-wingers planning to advance white supremacy with violence, or are his contributions along this line limited to incidents involving Muslims?

    1. You mean those imaginary right winters looking to advance that fake white supremacy movement that only exists in your deluded mind, right?

      1. Those imaginary right wingers were emboldened by Trump. It’s scary to imagine just how dangerous those imaginary right wingers really are.

        The imagined threat is so serious that Antifa formed to protect us from it. Unfortunately, imaginary foes are hard to fight, so they imagine that real people are the imaginary right wingers and fight them instead. But it’s a risky option as real people can kick the shit out of spoiled white pussies.

        1. “As late as the beginning of the fourteenth century a ghoul was cornered in the crypt of the cathedral at Amiens and the whole population surrounded the place. Twenty armed men with a priest at their head, bearing a crucifix, entered and captured the ghoul, which, thinking to escape by the stratagem, had transformed itself to the semblance of a well known citizen, but was nevertheless hanged, drawn and quartered in the midst of hideous popular orgies. The citizen whose shape the demon had assumed was so affected by the sinister occurrence that he never again showed himself in Amiens and his fate remains a mystery.”

          http://www.authorama.com/the-devils-dictionary-8.html

      2. Imaginary?

        Is Dylann Roof imaginary?

        Robert Gregory Bowers?

        James Alex Fields?

        etc.

        If you really believe there is no white supremacy movement in the country, and that Trump hasn’t emboldened it, you’re a bigger fool than even Jesse.

        1. There is simply no serious white supremacy movement in America. This is why the talking heads in the lame stream media have to go literally half a world away to New Zealand to find a guy (who was primarily a socialist) as an example to reinforce their delusional world view.

          If the most you can do is rattle off three names from 5+ years ago then keep on trying.

            1. If you’re white you are a hell of a lot more likely to be killed by a black guy hostile to whites than a random Jew is likely to be killed by an anti-Semite knowing his Jewishness or a black killed by a white nationalist.

              Trump’s appointees are by no means immune to pressures to PC-pose. What else is new?

          1. You may want to check your calendar.

          2. “There is simply no serious white supremacy movement in America”

            They ARE hard to take seriously, I’ll give you that.

    2. It appears that the criterion for Prof. Volokh’s posts on this topic is that the target of the terrorist act be near him. As it happens, the would-be terrorist was Muslim. Did some incident involving non-Muslim right-wing terrorists take place nearby that he has not mentioned?

      Incidentally, “right-wing” does not do a good job of distinguishing white supremacist terrorists from Muslim terrorists. Muslim terrorists are generally right-wing: they are socially conservative, do not believe in class warfare or income redistribution, and are opposed to liberalism. White supremacists and Islamists are different kinds of right-wingers.

      1. Incidentally, “right-wing” does not do a good job of distinguishing white supremacist terrorists from Muslim terrorists. Muslim terrorists are generally right-wing: they are socially conservative, do not believe in class warfare or income redistribution, and are opposed to liberalism. White supremacists and Islamists are different kinds of right-wingers.

        Interesting point.

        I wonder why no one thoight of it before.

        1. Islamists believe in easy divorce – if you’re a guy. Would that be conservative or leftist?

          1. Also, taxing people for charitable purposes is a leftist principle – if you’re skeptical, ask any leftist. Islamists also believe in compulsory zakat (charitable donations), enforced by the state against the faithful.

            1. “taxing people for charitable purposes is a leftist principle”

              Giving government power and authority to religious organizations, however, is not leftist at all.

              1. You err. Just because a cause doesn’t God-bang doesn’t mean belief in it isn’t “religious”.

                1. So, you’re calling me out because you misunderstand how the word “religious” was used in my comment?

      2. Both groups are culturally conservative, it’s true. They are theocratically oriented, have strong prejudices against other ethnicities, and generally favor a return to some era when they were in charge of things.

        I’m not sure “right-wing,” as commonly used, is meaningful outside the context of US, or maybe western, politics.

    3. Start your own blog that nobody will read dipshit.

      1. I think you would, since the only time you come out of your cave is to insult me.

      2. “Start your own blog that nobody will read dipshit.”

        Does the proprietor of the Volokh Conspiracy condone such language, JesseAz?

    4. I’m still curious how you’ve escaped from living under a bridge.

  5. When Dzhokar Tsarnayev was caught in a boat in the back yard of a house in Watertown, Massachusetts, the address sounded familiar. It turned out to be right across the street from my brother’s house.

  6. My first reaction was to remember all the low-IQ gullible “terrorists” the FBI has caught, where just about everything that happened was initiated by the FBI “CHS” (Cylinder Head Sector is what first came to mind!) to the point that it seemed more like fake news.

    But the details here began to seem more like a real jihadi — former soldier for one, unlike the previous jihadis who wouldn’t even know which way to point a gun. Then some of the remarks made me wonder, though. For a veteran soldier, he seemed remarkably reluctant to do anything on his own, deferring to the CHS for both details and the big picture. If I were a jihadi intent on killing lots of people, and had been a soldier, and had the weapons already, why go through all this rigamarole with the CHS — a bomb which can cause 50 casualties isn’t much compared to the Vegas shooter he mentioned.

    I wonder how much of this plot was his, and how much came from the CHS. I suspect the public will never know.

    1. I can rattle off the rationale of getting the dim-bulb wannabes off the streets – if they didn’t get recruited for fake operations by the FBI, real terrorists would recruit them to do something deadly and suicidal.

      That’s the theory. I don’t know how the program translated into practice.

      1. Yes, I know, and it is a real concern. Some people just need guardians, whether the mom kind or the cellmate kind. Leaving people that malleable running around is like leaving a bulldozer parked in front of an elementary school with the engine running.

        But there oughta be a better way to deal with them than padding FBI and DHS statistics at great expense.

      2. That’s the theory, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it works out really badly.

        There’s a reason some parts of the OK bombing plot have been sort of under-examined, for example.

        1. Oh right, Brett. The FBI was behind it, or maybe George Soros, is that your point?

          1. No, the FBI were not behind it. But there’s evidence that they gave McVeigh a bit of help, like they did this dude, and then blew the “and then arrest him” part of the formula.

            You can understand why the investigators would not want to follow up those particular leads.

            1. What evidence?

              1. He got help from Elohim City, which is basically the FBI’s tame white supremacist cell.

                1. OK Brett. Whatever you want to believe.

    2. This would be Terrorist does seem pretty wishy washy: “Do I go with the dirty bomb or the AK? Jews or cops?”

      I hope for the sake of the CHS guy they didn’t meet at a restaurant. Imagine having to wait for this indecisive Islamist to order dinner off the Applebee’s menu.

      1. “How’s the pork loin?”

  7. Kazinski has it right – this is a fine and understandable post (though the headline did make me wonder if there were a double standard till I read it).

    Beyond the slapfighting in the comments and the usual ‘Muslims are all terrorists and Dems love them’ silliness, abcd’s concern about the FBI leading troubled people beyond what they would normally do is a real one.
    On the one hand, I’d rather be safe than sorry. But isn’t that trading liberty for security? And more troublingly, such behavior alongside the press conference preening, makes it hard to evaluate the threat.

    1. Prof. Volokh mentions events that place Muslims in a bad light — and lather up his right-wing followers for a predictable flurry of Muslim-bashing comments — far more often than happenstance would indicate.

      Perhaps he is so steeped in misleading right-wing partisanship that he is not aware he is doing this.

      1. “Prof. Volokh mentions events that place Muslims in a bad light — and lather up his right-wing followers for a predictable flurry of Muslim-bashing comments — far more often than happenstance would indicate.”

        That’s because Muslims do things that put themselves in a bad light far more often than happenstance would indicate. They’re about 1% of the US population at this point, and commit about 12% of the attacks.

        That’s punching above their weight class, by an impressive margin.

      2. There is nothing more predictable then a comment by Kirkland. In fact I think you can make a mad lib of it. Just make sure to use “clingers” twice, degrade religious people as being “superstitious”, and marginalize anyone who has a right of center belief as being “an old white man”.

        1. Perhaps comments are predictable because the Conspiracy is predictable. Not only for its partisan polemics but also for its odds- and modernity-defying whiteness and maleness.

          1. The best part of watching the Rev step on a rake? The predictable response that he meant to do that.

            1. Ready to declare victory in the culture war for right-wingers, juris imprudent?

              1. Ready to declare that YOU are a loon? He’s not the only one.

  8. I think what is telling her is how far the Left has to go to stretch to reinforce their delusional world view that there is some huge white supremacist movement going on. It makes sense because they have spent the last few years telling their base that anyone who supports Trump is a “nazi” and that he is fueling hate crimes even though there is little to support that assertion. The most they can come up with is rattle off a few names. Oh yeah, but what about CHARLOTTESVILLE!!!!!! like that was some huge watershed moment that brought to light a the seedy underbelly of a movement that doesn’t exist. (Completely ignoring those protesters had a valid permit and were set up by the Virginia State Police to be attacked by Antifa…but they are white people and in the minds of the Left have no rights).

      1. Of course he does because that is his job. But when you say “show me the evidence” all that happens is someone screams “WHITE NATIONALISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. There is no evidence. The “white supremacy” movement in this country might be a thousand people interspersed across the vast expanse of the United States. That is it.

        And of course the FBI Director doesn’t come out to say “Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization” because the Left would have his corpse for dinner. But white people. You can use them as your political football all day long and if someone says that isn’t accurate out trots the “parade of horribles” (which is a pretty thin parade) and accusations of the person casting doubt on the assertion being a racist himself.

        1. “There is no evidence. The “white supremacy” movement in this country might be a thousand people interspersed across the vast expanse of the United States. That is it.”

          Whereas the Muslim terrorists are millions strong in this country…

        2. Technically, it’s possible for a problem to be “persistent”, “pervasive”, and extremely limited in magnitude.

          Wray’s actual statement: “The danger of white supremacist violent extremism — or any other kind of violent extremism — is, of course, significant. We assess that it is a persistent, pervasive threat.”

          Doesn’t mean the specifically white supremacist part of that threat is particularly large, just that it hasn’t gone away, and isn’t isolated to one or two particular locations.

          1. Doesn’t mean it’s not large, either.

            Definition of pervasive
            : existing in or spreading through every part of something //
            a pervasive odor

            1. Which “white nationalism” doesn’t. What’s your point, again?

    1. “what about CHARLOTTESVILLE!!!!!!”

      Whose game is whataboutism? The left?

      Riiiiiiiiiiight.

      1. Whataboutism is a game played (and decried) equally by both team Coke and Team Pepsi.

        1. Congratulations on getting the point.

          1. Whataboutism often appropriately demonstrates incoherence and double standards.

            The point you apparently determinedly missed about “what about CHARLOTTESVILLE!!!!!!” is not whether or not it was “whataboutism”, but that its use is nonsense.

            1. That wooshing sound you heard was my point sailing past your head. Don’t feel bad for missing it, it was apparently WAY over your head, you might not have even heard it go by.

      2. The problem the Left has is that incidents of Muslims terrorist violence, Antifa violence, and Black Lives Matter violence are well documented, trending, many, and on-going. They don’t want to deal with this so they use “one-off-ism” to counter it. That is why they scream “WHAT ABOUT ISOLATED INCIDENT X AND ISOLATED INCIDENT Y OR ISOLATED INCIDENT Z!!!!!!!!!!!”. They don’t have anything else to back up The Narrative. And when there isn’t enough “juice” here domestically they will go half a world away to try to find something.

        That is why they constantly bring up the same examples even the dated ones because there is little to nothing ongoing. Why find some new meat when you can just talk about things like the Byrd incident which is 20+ years old. Or engage in endless sock puppetry citing fake hate crimes then making them quietly go away when they come up as being engineered.

        It is all for the sake of maintaining The Narrative. Because if people learned the truth the House of Cards of the Left would just crumble in about 2.25 days.

        1. You’re deluded.

          1. “… incidents of Muslims terrorist violence, Antifa violence, and Black Lives Matter violence are well documented, trending, many, and on-going.”

            Apparently you deny this.

            So when you claim someone else is deluded we know to take the source into account.

            1. They may or may not be well-documented.

              Even if they are, that doesn’t justify right-wing violence, which has killed a lot of people. Denying that right-wing violence is a real danger, which JtD wants to do is, as I said, deluded.

              Lots of nutballs running around.

              1. Where did I ever suggest that left wing violence somehow justifies violence committed by the right wing? (Hint – I never did).

                My point was that any time it is pointed out that, gees, there are a lot of violent people on the Left and this is dangerous, the Left instead of owning its problem trots out the standard “LOOK AT ALL THE RIGHT WING VIOLENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BECAUSE OF TRUMP!!!!!!!!!!” puppet show.

                1. Your original comment starts thus: I think what is telling her is how far the Left has to go to stretch to reinforce their delusional world view that there is some huge white supremacist movement going on.

                  You were very much arguing that there isn’t a violence problem on the right, and very much not arguing that the issue is whattaboutism on the left.

                  Caps won’t save you from obvious backpeddaling.

                  And haven’t you asked that liberals be purged from the country? I mean, I guess it’s not exactly white supremacy, but I dunno if that’s not problematic.

                  1. There is not, especially compared to left wing violence, a “problem” with white nationalism. Are there white nationalists that occasionally do bad things sure? It is some huge problem in our society? Simply no. That is simply the truth and trying to bend what I say isn’t going to produce you any other result.

                    1. The fact that you don’t have a problem with it doesn’t mean that it isn’t still a problem.

        2. “The problem the Left has…”

          The problem you describe isn’t a problem of “the left”. It’s a problem of you. Take off your partisan goggles, and the problem goes away.

          1. Remove YOUR partisan goggles and you might notice that jihadist terrorism dwarfs white nationalist terrorism. But I’m not holding my breath.

            1. jihadist terrorism dwarfs white nationalist terrorism

              I’m sure you feel that, but that will need to be supported.

            2. “Remove YOUR partisan goggles”

              I’m avidly NOT a member of a party, genius.

        3. OT, one of the Byrd perps was finally executed on April 24, less than a week ago.

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