The arrest of a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant allegedly keeping a cache of weapons, a list of targets and the manifesto of terrorist Anders Behring Breivik in his Maryland home should serve as a wakeup call that right-wing extremism is on a dangerous rise, a survivor of Breivik’s rampage told InsideEdition.com.
Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, of Silver Spring, allegedly espoused white nationalist and extremist views for years before he was taken into custody Feb. 15 by federal investigators on weapons and drug charges.
The government said Hasson had been amassing supplies and weapons since at least 2017 and was modeling his alleged plot after that of Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right domestic terrorist who carried out two attacks that killed 77 people in Norway, according to court documents.
Hasson had been studying Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto that outlined his preparation, his attacks and provided a blueprint for others planning similar massacres to follow, according to authorities. Hasson allegedly stockpiled what appeared to be human growth hormone and the narcotic Tramadol in his basement apartment, just like Breivik, who took steroids and narcotics in the belief they would enhance his ability to mete out his operations.
Hasson also is accused of creating a spreadsheet of potential targets, as Breivik urged others considering their own attack to do.
“Have to take serious look at appropriate individual targets, to bring greatest impact,” Hasson allegedly wrote in a draft email investigators found on his computer, according to court records filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland.
The list consisted of prominent Democratic lawmakers and several journalists and media personalities from MSNBC and CNN, authorities said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of California, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Chuck Schumer of New York and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas were among those allegedly named. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, Joe Scarborough and CNN’s Don Lemon, Van Jones and Chris Cuomo were also included in Hasson’s alleged hit list.
“The defendant is a domestic terrorist bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct,” the government said in court filings.
Emma Martinovic, 26, knows full well what can happen when a person acts on the hateful ideologies they apparently subscribe to.
Martinovic was 18 when she received a text message that a gunman was on the loose at the summer camp she and her friends were attending on the Norwegian island of Utoya on July 22, 2011. After detonating a bomb placed in a van outside then-Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s office in Oslo that killed eight and injured at least 209 others, Breivik took a ferry to the island.
There, he opened fire on the participants of the camp, which was organized by the AUF, the youth division of the ruling liberal Labor Party. Martinovic, who stripped off her clothes and jumped into the freezing water surrounding the island to escape, was shot in her left arm, but made it to a passing boat. Breivik killed 69 people, most of them young, before he was arrested.
“The main thing that I learned is that when you survive such a trauma, you never forget, you only learn to live with it and handle it,” Martinovic told InsideEdition.com.
She carries the aftermath of those attacks, referred to in Norway as 22 July or 22.07, with her everywhere she goes. It’s a part of her DNA now, and speaking about that day and the dangerous rhetoric her attacker believed in has become a priority for the now-mother of two.
“Someone will maybe say, ‘Isn’t it enough?’ but it’s never gonna be enough,” Martinovic said of the need to spread awareness about the dangers of extremism. “The beliefs Breivik holds is the scariest in today’s society.”
Martinovic stressed that “we can’t hide and cover up that right-wing” extremism is increasing and said that the same vehicle many zealots use to assemble and propagate their beliefs — the internet — can and should be used for their undoing.
“You now see more of them [on] social network in comments and posts,” she said. “Then you have a name and can report them quickly, [whereas] before they were more ‘hidden’ and in the dark … We need to comment back and take the word back. We can’t let any extremism, ISIS or right-wing or anyone else, grow like they are growing today and spreading all the hate.
“I know how dangerous it is, and I know what a person with a gun and a mind full of hate looks like,” Martinovic continued.
Studying the ways in which people become radicalized and the circumstances that made the crimes perpetrated by Breivik on July 22, 2011 possible will help to prevent such attacks in the future, she said.
“2017 was the first year that children [not alive during the attacks] started to go to school,” Martinovic said. “It got me thinking that I hope they learn about 22.07 in the ‘right way’ … not just the love the days after and the unity, but about why it happened, how it happened … and what it meant to us as a country and to the world.
“Yes, my kids are just 2 and 1, but someday they are also going to learn and hear about 22.07. And I don’t want them to learn just the ‘love’ stuff, but also know what a right-wing hate can do.”
Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the maximum allowed in Norway. His sentence will likely be reviewed and extended when the time comes.
Hasson initially faced federal charges of illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance. The government said in its filing that “the current charges, however, are the proverbial tip of the iceberg.” Then on Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted Hasson on charges for unlawful possession of silencers, for possession of firearms by a drug addict and unlawful user and for possession of a controlled substance. No terror-related charges were added. He has been ordered held without bail.