Two Greek American brothers, identified as Andrew, 39, and Angelo, 51, Hatziagelis, have been arrested in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York, on suspicion of planning a campaign of attacks on high-profile domestic targets.
According to US media reports, their arrest took place earlier this month after police raided the brothers’ home – which they shared with their mother and another sibling – and seized a notebook containing an apparent list of targets, eight improvised explosive devices, bomb-making recipes, assault rifles, more than 600 rounds of ammunition and body armor, among other evidence.
In a statement to the press, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz indicated that a notebook filled with anti-government conspiracy theories was also recovered at the brothers’ home.
Greek American brothers’ hitlist of attacks
Titled “Hitlist,” the notebook page on the brothers’ apparent targets included “cops, judges, politicians, celebrities, corporate scum, and banker scum.”
“Wipe out the scum wipe out the earth,” it read.
“We cannot measure the number of lives that were saved, but we do know that these weapons will never hurt anyone,” Katz said in a statement.
Katz’s office released an image of a hand-written “Hit List” recovered by police that mentions “cops, judges, politicians, celebrities” and “banker scum.” There were no names, but the list was enough to alarm the authorities.
“We did recover multiple writings, multiple notebooks, showing that they were just very anti-government, anti-society. There were writings quoting Charles Manson, very into human destruction,” Courtney Nilan, from NYPD’s intelligence division, told NBC New York.
“Today’s charges underscore the harsh reality that our communities contain a small number of people who conceivably harbor evil intent,” NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban said in a statement.
Weapons “had the potential to wreak horrendous carnage”
“This cache of weapons — including explosives and untraceable, 3D-printed ghost guns — had the potential to wreak horrendous carnage,” he added.
So-called ghost guns can be printed at home using designs found online. The Biden administration has sought to clamp down on the practice, but an appeals court rejected a new regulation to restrict their use in November.
It was the purchase of components for these weapons that alerted the Queens District Authority’s Crime Strategies & Intelligence Bureau to the pair’s activity, leading to a six-month investigation, authorities said.
The suspects are due to appear in court on February 15 to answer to 130 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and related charges. They face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
The case was compared by some to that of the Tsarnaev brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan, who were convicted of planting and detonating two pressure cooker bombs at separate spots near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013.