Hasson compiled a cache of weapons in his Silver Spring, Md., home -- including 15 firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition, prosecutors said. Photo courtesy U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland/UPI
May 8 (UPI) -- A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of compiling a hit list of prominent television journalists and Democrats can be released from custody with strict supervision until trial, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
Before his release, however, Lt. Christopher Hasson must meet certain conditions imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Day, who expressed "grave concerns" about letting the terror suspect out of jail. At past hearings, Day said Hasson is dangerous, but not as dangerous as prosecutors make it sound.
Government attorneys and pre-trial services representatives fought to keep Hasson in custody for the safety of the community. If he's released, Hasson must remain with his in-laws in Virginia and must be accompanied at all times. Prosecutors said they plan to appeal.
Hassan, 50, was arrested Feb. 15 on drug and firearms charges over a stockpile of weapons he'd kept in his Maryland home. Prosecutors said he intended to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country."
Hasson has pleaded not guilty and will remain on active Coast Guard duty until the case is resolved, a spokesman said.
Hasson, who hasn't officially been charged with terrorism, describes himself as a white nationalist who created a hit list of several Democrats, two Supreme Court justices, network journalists and social media company executives, prosecutors said. Authorities found 15 guns, including seven rifles and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, in his basement apartment. Investigators said he also possessed illegal gun silencers.
Prosecutors have said he was inspired by Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian extremist who killed 77 people in a 2011 bombing and shooting attack.
If convicted, Hasson faces up to 31 years in prison.