A U.S. Coast Guard officer has been arrested on suspicion of planning a terror attack, court documents show.

Police found a cache of weapons and ammunition at the Maryland home of Christopher Paul Hasson, the BBC reports.

The self-proclaimed white nationalist had drawn up a list of targets including prominent Democratic politicians, according to prosecutors.

He is said to have drawn inspiration from the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

"The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," U.S. District Attorney Robert Hur said in the court documents.

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"The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct."

Prosecutors said that in a draft email from June 2017 Mr Hasson wrote: "I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth. I think a plague would be most successful but how do I acquire the needed Spanish flu, botulism, anthrax, not sure yet but will find something."

Fifteen guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition were found in Mr Hasson's basement flat along with illegal drugs, the attorney's office said.

A list of possible targets included Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer as well as media personalities including MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough.