A US military veteran has been arrested before carrying out multiple “mass casualty” terror attacks in Los Angeles, California.
Mark Steven Domingo, 26, had been allegedly planning the terror operations in order to seek “retribution” for “attacks on Muslims around the globe” and specifically for last month’s Christchurch shooting in New Zealand which left 50 Muslims dead, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.
According to law enforcement, Domingo had been planning to attack Jews, Churches and police officers. The veteran, who had allegedly converted to Islam, eventually planned to detonate a nail bomb at a white nationalist rally scheduled to take place on the weekend.
The suspect was arrested in a sting operation after being supplied with what he believed were active bombs. The material had been given to him by a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant acting as a co-conspirator.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said that Domingo “wanted to use improvised explosive devices against innocent civilians and he selected components that would make the bombs even more deadly to the victims he targeted.”
Under the surveillance of federal authorities, the suspect had also allegedly made references to the 2013 Boston marathon bombing, where an attack by two alleged Takrifi terrorists killed three people and wounded more than 260.
The foiled attack comes as a recent spike in hate-motivated attacks and revenge attacks on religious minorities has been witnessed in the past month.
Last month, a 28-year-old Australian national, identified as Brenton Tarrant, killed 50 people and wounded another 50 at two mosques in Christchurch, a city located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
Last week, eight bomb attacks hit churches and luxury hotels in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo and two other cities. At least 253 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded in the bombings, which took place when churches were crowded with worshipers marking Easter Sunday.
The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group later claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Earlier on Monday, Daesh released a propaganda video purporting to show its ringleader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for the first time in five years.
The terror ringleader commended the terrorists behind the Easter attack in Sri Lanka.
Daesh overran large swaths of Syria and Iraq in offensives beginning in 2014. The group was, however, largely defeated in both countries in the course of some four years.
Iran has been offering military advisory support to Iraq and Syria at the request of their governments, enabling their forces to speed up gains on various fronts against the terrorist groups.