HomeCrimeFilipino American veteran indicted for terrorist plot

Filipino American veteran indicted for terrorist plot

Mark Steven Domingo

Views from the Edge

A federal grand jury has indicted a Filipino American for his role in planning to bomb a rally in Long Beach last month for the purpose of causing mass casualties. 

Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, California, a former U.S. Army infantryman who was deployed to Afghanistan, was previously arrested on a criminal complaint in this case. The indictment returned Wednesday (May 22) formally charges him with providing material support to terrorists and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. If convicted, he would face a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison.

The suspect, who has been in federal custody since his arrest last month, is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on May 31 in United States District Court.

According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, Domingo, in online posts and in conversations with an FBI source, plotted for violent jihad, a desire to seek revenge for attacks against Muslims, and a willingness to become a martyr. 

After considering various attacks – including targeting Jewish people, churches, and police officers – Domingo decided to bomb a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach last month. As part of the plot, Domingo asked a confederate – who actually was working with the FBI as part of the investigation – to find a bomb-maker. Domingo then purchased and provided to the confederate and the bomb-maker, who was actually an undercover officer, several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel for the bombs.

Leading up to the planned attack, Domingo called for another event similar to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas to give Americans “a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world,” the complaint states. Following an attack on Muslims in New Zealand on March 15, Domingo wrote in an online post, “there must be retribution,” according to the complaint.

On April 26, Domingo received what he thought was a live bomb, but in fact was an inert explosive device that was delivered by the undercover law enforcement officer. According to the criminal complaint, after receiving the bomb, Domingo drove his confederate and the undercover officer to Long Beach to scout the location Domingo planned to attack. While there, Domingo discussed finding the most crowded areas in order to kill the most people. Domingo was arrested shortly after returning from scouting the intended attack location.

Domingo served in Afghanistan from September 2012 to January 2013 and was discharged from the Army shortly thereafter, according to the LA Times. The details are murky but apparently he was involved in a violent incident while in Afghanistan. His discharge from the service was not an honorable discharge.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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