Photo: Mark Steven Domingo
LONG BEACH – The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) launched an investigation into an individual’s online-forum posts specifically seeking violent retribution against Muslims along with a willingness to become a martyr. Conversations displayed considering various attacks: targeting Jewish people, churches, and police officers – which culminated in a decision to bomb a political rally .
(JTTF) members investigating this matter included the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Long Beach Police Department. They soon learned that it was a San Fernando Valley man – Mark Steven Domingo (28), of Reseda, who was planning to bomb a 2019 political rally in Long Beach.
“Leading up to the attack, Domingo called for an event similar to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas,” said the Department of Justice (DOJ) U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Following an attack on Muslims in New Zealand in March 2019, Domingo called for retribution in an online post.”
“As part of the plot, Domingo asked a confederate – who actually was working with the FBI as part of the investigation – to invite a bomb-maker into the scheme. Domingo then purchased and provided to the confederate and the bomb-maker – who in fact was an undercover law enforcement officer – several hundred 31⁄2-inch nails to be used as shrapnel for the bombs” -specifically chosen because “they were long enough to penetrate organs in the human body.”
The suspect drove his confederate and the undercover officer to Long Beach in April to scout the location he planned to attack, and discussed finding the most crowded areas to place the bombs in order to kill the most people. On April 26, 2019, Domingo believed that he’d received two live bombs, delivered by an undercover law enforcement officer.
Actually, they were inert explosive devices that he was clutching in his hands as he was arrested that day. “At trial, [Domingo] testified and repeatedly affirmed that he intended to commit mass murder in March and April 2019,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum that recommended a sentence of life in prison.
In addition, “He admitted that the [confidential informant] stopped him from committing at least one murder in April 2019 by encouraging him to be patient. Finally, he admitted that he was excited when he learned that the [confidential informant] had access to an individual who could construct a bomb, and that he was the one who chose to attack the rally, chose to use the bombs, and chose to go through with the plot to commit mass murder, right up until the moment of his arrest.”
A five-day trial with a federal jury on August 11 found Domingo guilty of one count of providing material support to terrorists and one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
As a result, Domingo was sentenced on Nov. 1st by United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson to 25 years in federal prison – 15 years’ imprisonment on the providing material support count and 25 years in federal prison for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction – both sentences to be served concurrently. The court also ordered Domingo to be placed on supervised release for a term of 20 years upon the completion of his prison sentence.
“Mr. Domingo represents the very-real threat posed by homegrown violent extremists in the United States,” said Kristi K. Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
“Domingo’s plans and a potentially catastrophic attack were thwarted when the Joint Terrorism Task Force learned of his intentions in advance and carried out this successful undercover operation with our partners.”
This case was the result of a collaborative effort with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Long Beach Police Department.