Watson Coleman Statement on Foiled Coast Guard Lieutenant’s Domestic Terrorism Plot
Ewing, NJ (February 20, 2019) — Following reports that Christopher Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant arrested last week on gun and drug offenses, had expressed white nationalist and neo-Nazi views alongside documented plans to commit acts of domestic terrorism, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement:
“Throughout my time as a member of the Homeland Security Committee I have tried to call attention to a fact that Republicans — first in Congressional control, and now in the White House — have consistently ignored: domestic extremism is the greatest terror threat facing the U.S. today. From the lives taken at Mother Emanuel, to the violence in Charlottesville, to the tragedy in Pittsburgh last year, anti-Semitic, racist, homegrown extremism is a problem that cannot be ignored, and the Trump administration must take it seriously. The fearmongering of this President about the threat of foreign terrorists sneaking across our borders ignores the consistent reports of law enforcement and intelligence officials, and this case is a perfect example.
“I am grateful for the federal investigators who were able to uncover and foil Hasson’s plans, but it cannot be overlooked that this was a serious threat from within a critical component of the Department of Homeland Security. I look forward to the Committee on Homeland Security giving this issue the attention it desperately needs under Chairman Thompson’s leadership.”