Nicolai Howard Mork was taken into custody on April 5 at his Las Vegas home, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Mork is being held on $8 million bail, $1 million for each count in his indictment.
Police from the Las Vegas Metro’s Homeland Security unit began investigating Mork last year after several explosions in the neighborhoods where Mork lived, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Residents also made complaints about damage to their property.
“Devices had either exploded or were found unexploded,” Deputy Chief Chris Jones, who heads the Homeland Security unit, told the newspaper. “They clearly were not being used for legal purposes.”
The FBI was not involved in the case, the Sun reports.
“He knows what he’s doing, an extreme danger to the community. His crimes are running the gambit at this point, and we’re just trying to get a hold of what exactly we’re looking at here,” prosecutor Jake Villani told the Review-Journal.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say They Found Video of Him ‘Violently Beating’ a Woman & Child Pornography, Along With the ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’
Prosecutors said police found weapons and chemicals that can be used to make explosive devices in Nicolai Mork’s home during a search, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Prosecutor Jake Villani told the newspaper the chemicals found in the home are strong enough to “penetrate a military tank.” He also said investigators found a video of Mork “violently beating a woman” inside his apartment, and “violent” child pornography stored on hard drives.
The hard drives also contained upskirt photos Mork appears to have taken of women with a hidden camera inside a rolling bag (similar photos can be seen on his Facebook page), along with “snuff films,” and photos of Mork having sex with “seemingly unconscious women,” Villani told the Review-Journal.
He was arrested after that search in December 2016, but was freed on bail.
Villain said investigators later learned the woman recorded being attacked by Mork was found unconscious in the lobby of his apartment complex, Villani said.
Mork isn’t facing charges yet related to the images and videos on the hard drive.
“They’re still trying to image that drive,” Villani told the newspaper. “This was just a triage approach to that drive.”
Mork was indicted April 5 by a Clark County grand jury on charges of terrorism and unlawful acts related to weapons of mass destruction, according to a warrant for his arrest.
Mork is also facing three counts of possession of component of explosive or incendiary device with intent to manufacture explosive or incendiary device and one count each of possession of explosive or incendiary device, possession of a firearm with altered or obliterated serial number and possession of a silencer.
He was accused of “use or attempted use of sabotage, coercion, or violence intended to cause great bodily harm or death to the general population and/or cause substantial destruction, contamination or impairment of any building, infrastructure, utilities, or services.”
Mork was found in possession of about 251 pounds of ammonium nitrate, 26 pounds of aluminum, about 9.5 pounds of red iron oxide and a bin containing about 33 pounds of a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder referred to as “Tannerite,” according to the indictment obtained by KSNV-TV.
Police said Mork was also in possession of a Walther P-22 .22 caliber handgun with its serial number altered or removed, along with a silencer.According to court documents obtained by KTNY-TV, Mork is accused of trying to detonate incendiary devices at several locations in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, including:
A NV Energy transformer box on Commendation Drive, near Buffalo Drive and Spring Mountain Road; a location on Dancing Vines Avenue, near Pyle Avenue and Maryland Parkway; and a location on Coral Sea Street, near Eastern Avenue and St. Rose Parkway.
He is accused of planning to “parachute” an explosive into the Silverado Ranch neighborhood of Las Vegas, KLAS-TV reports.
Mork tried to light a “Molotov cocktail” in the 3400 block of Commendation Drive on December 31, KVVU-TV reports.
Police served a search warrant at Mork’s home on December 29, KTNY reports. The SWAT team found four capped plastic Elrenmeyer flasks filled with nitric acid, separated from other chemicals.
The arrest report said Mork appeared to realize the “dangerous potential of the chemicals in his possession,” because “it was clearly isolated and stored away from all other organic and inorganic material in a closet by itself.”
Neighbors at Mork’s former home near Buffalo and Desert Inn roads in Las Vegas told KLAS he was an “unsettling neighbor” who would do “strange things,” like lighting fires and placing small explosives in his front yard.
“During the day you would hardly see him,” said Luis Garcia, a former neighbor, told KLAS. “I hardly saw him at all. He was just one of those quiet weird guys.”
The neighbors reported him to police, the news station reports.
2. He Posted on Social Media About Being Followed by Scientologists, Getting ‘Bizarre’ Google Image Results on His Phone & a Recent Terror ArrestPolice and prosecutors have not revealed a motive for the attacks Mork is accused of plotting to commit in Las Vegas.
Mork’ mother, Joan, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal she started noticing signs of paranoia in her son about two years ago, when he visited the family after a long absence.
He was prescribed medication for depression and anxiety, she told the newspaper.
“My God. He’s not a man we recognize,” she said, adding he told them about being followed into restaurants by people involved in Scientology, who were recording his conversations. She said he told her “Don’t ever speak of my medications,” when confronted about the paranoia.
“That was a very difficult visit,” she told the newspaper. “He was anxious. He was pacing all the time. Sometimes he sat down and put his arms around us, and those are moments that meant a lot. Our hearts are crushed.”
She told the newspaper she hopes her son can receive treatment.
His social media profiles reveal a man who was concerned about electronic surveillance, sonic weapons and being stalked by Scientologists.
Mork most recently shared a video about HyperSound speakers on his Facebook page writing on April 2:
This was a useful demo, but the spin was ridiculous. ‘It was like a man’s voice was speaking to me from inside my head. The voice was oddly familiar.’ She smiles suggesting she always wanted to hear oddly familiar voices in her head at Sainsbury’s. ‘Finally, i’m a paranoid schizophrenic. Hooray! Amazing!’ I bet they have a glowing review for kiosk thumb screws too. ‘The pain was amazing. I couldn’t wait to buy so they could remove the thumb screws.’ #NonlethalWeaponsAsMarketingTools
He also wrote about the speakers, “remember reading about these in ‘Going Clear.’ You can pay scientology not to play them at you. Now if only they made clear scientologists, so we wouldn’t have to see them.”
He shared an ABC News report, “Sonic Bullets to Be Acoustic Weapon of the Future,” writing, “Handheld and car mounted sonic weapons already capable of incapacitating people with unbearable pain in 2002.”
Mork wrote about being followed around by two men with laser pointers and posted candid photos of people in a store with the caption, “There are no aliens,” and candid photos of a man who looks like him, writing, “A clone of me who hung out at my last apartment’s pool. My own mother couldn’t tell us apart.”
In the first video and post, uploaded on February 26, he claimed he was having “security certificate problems” on his cell phone:
“More problems with content on my cell phone. I get two separate security certificate warnings while browsing a “guardian.co.uk” article about David Foster Wallace on my cell phone. “*.a.company-target.com” and “*.adnxs.com” are the common names of the certificate holders. More indications of man-in-the-middle attacks on my phone,” he wrote.
In the second video, uploaded February 20, he said he was getting “bizarre Google Image results” on his phone compared to a “healthy phone.”
He wrote, “I’ve had strange cell phone problems for the past 4-5 years. I’ve tried switching providers, phone numbers, and locations,” and added:
In this video, I compare my google image search results with those of my personal assistant. After finding a massive spider on my wall the night before, I searched for: “spiders of southern nevada +3 inches +hairy +black and white.” She did the identical search. My results have nothing to do with my search terms (pictures of the pope? pictures of weird phrases? redheads?). She gets 50 pictures of hairy, 3 inch spiders, as expected. This is an extremely annoying problem to explain to other people. I’ve tried friends, family, computer nerds, law enforcement – can anyone help?
Mork wrote often about Scientology and being followed by Scientologists.
“A few of the scientologists who have attacked me and my friends and family have had this same mysterious hiccuping illness,” he wrote, along with an article of a woman convicted of murder who hiccuped nonstop for five weeks. “Perhaps a side effect of scientology’s use of sonic weapons and the cavitation they cause?”He also said he found a cockroach in his mail box at his Las Vegas apartment:
Opened my mailbox today at south Blvd and saw someone had sent me a cockroach. It reminded me of when I first moved here and the scientologists who had followed me from LA would cover my porch and doorway at canyon villas with cockroach treats, scattering the “cockroach treat” boxes around the lawn. A Lisa McPherson reference in honor of my pathologist friends, I assume. Kudos for classy, scientards.
And he posted photos of lock picks he said he found in his apartment in November 2016.
“I keep finding these around the new place. I hope they’re from long ago. Otherwise, I’m being visited by the strangest reverse-burglar ever,” he wrote. “Take only photographs/Leave only lock picks?? I hope I don’t end up on that awful show about celebrity houses.”
In January he tweeted a link to a New York Times report about a former police officer accused of providing aid to ISIS.
Mork wrote, “No one should spend months in solitary confinement for suspicion of future crime and $250 isn’t material. This is awful.”
3. Mork, a Minnesota Native, Was the Valedictorian at Pomona College Before Getting a Master’s Degree in Finance at MITNicolai Howard Mork grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, according to public records. His father worked as a sociology professor at the local University of Minnesota branch and his mother as a Protestant chaplain at a nearby hospital. Mork graduated from the Marshall School, a prep school in Duluth, according to his Facebook page.
He was the Pomona College valedictorian in 1999, graduating with degrees in economics and Russian literature, according to his Linkedin profile. Mork studied abroad at the School for International Training in St. Petersburg, Russia, while he was a student at Pomona.
He then graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management with a master’s degree in financial engineering in 2004.
Mork, who is divorced, has also lived in Durham, North Carolina in recent years, along with Los Angeles and Las Vegas.He posted several photos to his Facebook page last year from his youth and college years, including a photo with his ex-wife, his high school and college IDs and photos of family members.
His social media profiles appear to begin in 2016, or the previous posts were deleted.
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4. He Worked as a Consultant at Bain & Company & as a Portfolio Strategy Leader at MeadWestvaco Before Becoming Self-EmployedMork worked as a consultant at Bain & Company, a Boston-based management consulting firm, from 1999 to 2007, including while he was studying at MIT, according to his Linkedin profile.
He then worked as a portfolio strategy leader at MeadWestvaco from May 2007 to December 2008.
Mork says on Linkedin he is a self-employed management consultant, who has worked in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Durham, North Carolina, since 2009.
“Experienced management consultant with nearly ten years experience at Bain and five additional years in private practice and related industry positions, providing strategy and M&A for consumer products, private equity, and technology,” Mork wrote on Linkedin.
5. His Arrest After He Was Indicted Shut Down His Neighborhood, With Police Calling Him ‘Dangerous’Mork’s arrest on April 5 by Las Vegas Policeshut down a large area of the Silverado Ranch neighborhood where he lives. Police shut down streets and asked residents to stay away from the area, according to neighbors and reporters.
He was taken into custody without incident, police said.
“As your aware we’ve had some police activity in the Silverado Ranch area referencing a suspect with the last name Mork,” Police Sergeant Jeff Clark told reporters. “As you know a grand jury did indict Mork yesterday on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction-related charges. Out of knowing his history and how dangerous this individual was, the court did set his bail at $8 million.”
Clark said detectives were in the area near Mork’s home doing surveillance “out of an abundance of caution,” and they “made the determination to evacuate several residences around his. After doing so, detectives placed a call in to Mork and asked him to surrender, which he did peacefully.”
Clark said the investigation is ongoing and it will take “quite a bit of time,” to serve search warrants and finish the investigation.
“We’re going to leave no stone unturned,” Clark said. “We want to make sure we do this fully, and we create a prosecutable case for the district attorney’s office.”
He was previously arrested in late December on six felony charges, including three counts of possession of component of explosive or incendiary device with intent to manufacture explosive or incendiary device and one count each of possession of explosive or incendiary device, possession of a firearm with altered or obliterated serial number and possession of a silencer.
Mork was arrested December 29 and held until January 13, when he posted $220,000 bail.
The terrorism and mass destruction charges, along with the original six felonies, were added in his indictment by a Clark County grand jury.
Mork does not appear to have had a criminal record prior to his arrest in December.
The charges Mork faces are all felonies, with the most serious, the terrorism and unlawful acts related to weapons of mass destruction, being Category A felonies that carry a potential sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Mork’s attorney, Nicolas Wooldridge, told the Associated Press he was shocked to learn of the new charges. He said the materials possessed by Mork are commonly used for target shooting, as they explode when shot by firearms during practice. They are commercially available and not prohibited under federal law, Wooldridge said.
But Las Vegas Metro Deputy Chris Jones told the AP, “The manner in which this individual was using these materials was not for legal purposes. These substances could be used in the manufacture of powerful explosive devices. The more you use, the larger the device, the more destructive it’s going to be.”In court documents, an investigator wrote, “Due to the materials Mork had on hand, and how they were arranged and stored within his residence, I believe that Mork intended to utilize the components in his possession to create explosive and/or incendiary devices,” according tot he Las Vegas Sun.
The materials were found in closets, police said.
Police told the newspaper the normal amount of material used for an exploding target is about 8 ounces. Investigators found more than 33 pounds of the material already mixed, along with several more pounds of the individual components used to make the explosives, according to court documents.