The Coast Guard lieutenant accused of “domestic terrorism” after amassing an arsenal and a hit list of prominent Democrats and journalists wrote to an infamous American neo-Nazi about staking out a “white homeland” with “focused violence.”
Christopher Hasson of Maryland, who was arrested last week, penned a letter in 2017 to a man identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as Harold Covington, who had advocated for the creation of a white ethnostate within the Pacific Northwest. SPLC is a nonprofit hate-watch organization headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.
The individual to whom Hasson had written was not named in the court filing, however, SPLC confirmed his connection to Covington at his Thursday detention hearing through his lawyer, federal public defender Julie Stelzig.
Covington had a history of influencing mass murderers, appearing to have inspired Dylan Roof, the white supremacist gunman who killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015.
According to The Guardian, Roof’s alleged manifesto references the Northwest Front, a group Covington created and led until he died last July. Following the Charleston shooting, Covington called it “a preview of coming attractions,” railing against liberals, offering thinly veiled praise for Roof and fear-mongering over potential future acts of violence.
YouTube still carries videos featuring Covington and Amazon still sells his books despite his role in radicalization. HuffPost reached out to YouTube and Amazon for comment but did not receive a reply by the time of publication.
The filing against Hasson contains his letter to Covington in which he states, “I have read most of your books” and identifies himself as “having been a skinhead 30 plus years ago before my time in the military.”
“We need a white homeland as Europe seems lost,” Hasson wrote. “How long we can hold out there and prevent n****rization of the Northwest until whites wake up on their own or are forcibly made to make a decision whether to roll over and die or to stand up remains to be seen.”