Army veteran sentenced for Southern California bomb plot

An Army veteran who plotted to bomb a white supremacist rally in Southern California was sentenced Monday to 25 years in federal prison.

Mark Steven Domingo, 28, of Reseda in Los Angeles, was convicted in August of providing material support to terrorism and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Domingo schemed to bomb a planned April 2019 rally in Long Beach before he was arrested, prosecutors said.

Domingo, a former combat infantryman, had recently converted to Islam and over several months discussed several plots to kill scores of people in Southern California in revenge for the March 2019 attacks on two New Zealand mosques that left 50 people dead, prosecutors said.

In online posts and an online forum, Domingo expressed “a desire to seek violent retribution for attacks against Muslims, as well as a willingness to become a martyr,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

Domingo considered attacks against Jewish people, churches and police officers before deciding to bomb the white supremacist rally, authorities said.

Domingo posted one online message saying “America needs another Vegas event,” an apparent reference to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people, documents show. He said it would spark civil unrest to weaken “America by giving them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world.”

The terror plot was foiled by the FBI and police using an undercover officer and informant Domingo thought were his accomplices.

“This defendant planned a mass-casualty terrorist attack and repeatedly admitted at trial that he had a desire to kill as many people as possible,” acting United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison said. “Had this bombing been successful, many innocent people would have been murdered, yet this defendant has shown no remorse for his conduct, nor has he renounced the extremist ideology that motivated his horrific plot.”

Domingo “represents the very real threat posed by homegrown violent extremists in the United States,” said Kristi K. Johnson, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Military records show Domingo served about 16 months in the Army, including a four-month stint in Afghanistan in fall 2012. A U.S. official told The Associated Press in 2019 that Domingo was demoted and discharged before completing his enlistment contract for committing an unspecified serious offense.

He left with a rank of private, the lowest possible grade.

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