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Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson Wrote to Notorious Neo-Nazi Harold Covington

A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of being a domestic terrorist wrote a letter to prominent white supremacist Harold Covington discussing the idea of a “white homeland” and using “focused violence” to achieve that goal.

Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, penned the letter to Covington, a resident of Bremerton, Washington, and the founder of The Northwest Front, in September 2017.

Covington was a longtime proponent of creating a white ethnostate in the Pacific Northwest.

The correspondence from Hasson wasn’t the first time Covington, who died in July 2018, crossed paths with or praised mass killers.

Covington’s writings also inspired Dylann Storm Roof, who is on federal death row after being convicted of killing nine people at a South Carolina church in 2015.

Frazier Glenn Miller, convicted of killing three people outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom care center in Overland Park, Kansas, on April 13, 2014, spent time with Covington in the National Socialist Party of America in 1976.

Covington was once a prominent figure in the racist movement, although in the years leading up to his death the movement had left him behind.

But Covington still produced podcasts, spreading the conspiracy theory that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh had as many as seven accomplices.

Covington is not the only old-guard white supremacist whose writing inspired killers. McVeigh famously modeled his 1995 attack, which killed 168, on William Pierce’s book “The Turner Diaries.” 

Covington met with William Luther Pierce, the founder of the National Alliance, several times over the years until his death in 2002, and said he corresponded “regularly” with him.

“There could be no question that Bill Pierce was probably the most outstanding personality that modern white nationalism has produced,” Covington said in a June 7, 2018, podcast.

Covington proved prominent in the 1970s and 1980s as a notorious figure in American neo-Nazi circles. His ideas for a white ethnostate continue to energize the racist “alt-right,” and Covington’s organization, the Northwest Front, still exists.

While Covington didn’t attend a National Socialist White People’s Party rally in Greensboro, N.C., in 1979, several of his associates did. At that rally, the North Carolina unit of the group took part in the killings of five left-wing, anti-Klan protesters.

The conflict became known as the “Greensboro Massacre.” Covington never faced criminal charges and wasn’t found liable in a later civil trial.

A longtime member of the National Socialist Party of America, Covington spent decades attempting to further racist causes. He worked in the former African nation of Rhodesia to preserve white rule and advocated a plan to turn the Pacific Northwest into a white homeland, an idea also known as the Northwest Territorial Imperative.

Covington’s effort spanned most of his life, beginning in 1971 when he graduated high school and joined the U.S. Army. That year he also joined the National Socialist White People’s Party, the political successor to the American Nazi Party.

Two years later, though, he was discharged from the Army and began roaming the world espousing racial separation.

Covington also had a hand in founding the Combat 18 (C18) terror network based in England. In 1997, seven members of C18 were arrested for sending mail bombs to prominent leftist activists, mixed-race celebrity couples and members of a rival faction within C18 itself. That same year, two members of the group took part in the killing of 28-year-old Chris Castle in a dispute with that same rival faction.

Covington again wasn’t charged with any crime but helped found the neo-Nazi group that openly advocated violence against immigrants, leftists and ethnic minorities.

Hasson’s attorney, federal public defender Julie Stelzig, confirmed Hasson’s link to Covington during a detention hearing Thursday in federal court in Maryland.

A judge ordered Hasson held in jail for 14 days while prosecutors and the FBI continue investigating.

Photo by Bettmann (Covington)

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