MIT grad faces terrorism charges in Las Vegas

Updated April 5, 2017 - 9:44 pm

An MIT business school graduate has been indicted in Las Vegas on terrorism and unlawful acts related to weapons of mass destruction, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Along with the terrorism and mass destruction charges, 40-year-old Nicolai Howard Mork faces 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.

His mother, reached at her home in Duluth, Minnesota, told a Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter that she started noticing signs of paranoia in her son about two years ago, when he visited his parents after a lengthy absence.

“My God,” Joan Mork said when she learned of his indictment.

She was unsure whether her son’s prescribed medication for depression and anxiety had been the cause of his troubles.

“He’s not a man we recognize,” she said.

He worried that people involved in Scientology had followed him into restaurants and recorded his conversations, she said, so she asked about his medicine.

“Don’t ever speak of my medications,” he told her.

“That was a very difficult visit,” she said. “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.”

Police first tracked Mork in late December after linking him to at least eight Molotov cocktails found near “seemingly random homes” in the southeast valley neighborhood where he lived, according to prosecutor Jake Villani.

Inside his apartment, detectives found ingredients strong enough to penetrate a military tank, Villani said.

While investigating how Mork may have obtained the chemicals, detectives also found 17 hard drives on a desktop computer with 63 terabytes of data.

In the first folder of the first drive detectives open, Mork kept underskirt photos of women he had apparently taken with a hidden camera inside a rolling bag, the prosecutor said. Police also discovered “violent child pornography,” “snuff films,” and images of Mork having sex with “seemingly unconscious women,” Villani said.

Investigators also found video of Mork “violently beating” a woman inside an apartment, and eventually learned that the same woman had been found unconscious in the lobby of his complex.

Mork is not currently facing charges related to the material found on his computer.

“They’re still trying to image that drive,” Villani said. “This was just a triage approach to that drive.

“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.”

Mork previously posted $220,000 bail. His mother said she sent him $36,000 cash after he called her from the Clark County Detention Center. District Judge Douglas Herndon raised Mork’s bail to $8 million and issued a warrant for his arrest.

On Wednesday evening, Las Vegas police announced that they had arrested Mork at his home without incident. Sgt. Jeff Clark said several nearby residences were evacuated during the arrest as a precaution.

An arrest report described the chemicals and ingredients found in Mork’s home along with an assault-style rifle, including potassium chlorate, potassium perchlorate, ammonium nitrate, ammonium perchlorate, red iron oxide, aluminum powder, nitric acid, sulfuric acid and magnesium ribbon.

“Combinations of some of the chemicals located can lead to both incendiary and explosive results,” the report stated. “Residential utilization of concentrated nitric acid is rare and extremely dangerous. Mork appeared to realize the dangerous potential of this substance as it was clearly isolated and stored away from all other organic and inorganic material.”

The combination “could cause substantial damage to Mork’s residence and the houses around him,” the report stated.

According to his Facebook page, Mork previously worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company in Boston and as director of portfolio management at MeadWestvaco Corporation, a packaging company, in Richmond, Virginia.

He first took to Twitter on Jan. 29, linking to a New York Times story with the headline: “How an American Ended Up Accused of Aiding ISIS With Gift Cards.”

On February 26, he tweeted “spiders of southern nevada + 3 inches +hairy +black and white” 10 times

On March 22, he tweeted “#BowfingerLife #ThinkImACloneNow #Freakout A clone of me who hung out at my last apartment’s pool. My own mother couldn’t tell us apart.”

Growing up, “he was the most loving brilliant person you could imagine,” Joan Mork said. “He has so extremely much to offer.”

He earned a Presidential Scholarship, met former President Bill Clinton and graduated as valedictorian from Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1999 with a 4.0 grade-point average, his mother said. He received a full scholarship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a master’s degree from the Sloan School of Management.

She hopes her son is able to receive treatment.

“I’m hoping someone who has some influence would hear me say that,” she said.

Review-Journal writer Rachel Crosby contributed to this report. Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Crime
Nye County detectives pursue suspects
A swarm of Nye County deputies, at the request of Las Vegas police, surrounded a hotel room in Pahrump last week to take two fugitives into custody. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Las Vegas judge’s ruling will halt tonight’s execution
On Wednesday Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a ruling that will halt the execution of convicted murderer Scott Dozier. Alvogen Inc., which makes the sedative midazolam, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the Nevada Department of Corrections of surreptitiously obtaining the drug for use in an execution.
3 people shot in southeast Las Vegas
Three men were shot Thursday night in southeast Las Vegas, and two of them have life threatening injuries. Las Vegas police responded to the incident just after 10 p.m. on the 5000 block of Mountain Vista Street. The investigation is in its early stages and police were unable to describe the suspect or say how man people they think were involved. Police encourage anyone with information regarding this shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555, or 3-1-1
Robbery suspects apprehended
Four robbery suspects were taken into custody Thursday morning after a vehicle and foot chase that ended in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. The incident began when a person was robbed at gunpoint around 4:45 a.m. near Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn. Officers arriving at the scene tried to stop two vehicles. One vehicle escaped but police chased the second into a neighborhood on Flamingo Road near Mountain Vista Street. Police surrounded the neighborhood and the suspects were apprehended. It looked like one police vehicle was involved in a collision with the suspects' car. One woman suffered an unknown injury and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. 01:04
Las Vegas police looking for robbery suspects
Two robbers who recently targeted three Las Vegas businesses remained at large Tuesday and police are asking the public to help identify them. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
LVMPD Looking For Robbery Suspect
The LVMPD Commercial Robbery Section is attempting to identify the pictured suspect who is responsible for committing robberies to businesses in the southern part of the Las Vegas Valley during the month of May 2018. The suspect enters the business, threatens the employee with a firearm and demands money from the register. The employee complies and the suspect flees the business.
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead at 2500 block of Ellis St., on Friday, June 8, 2018. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like