Federal Agents Thwart Attack on Seattle Military Facility

Two American Muslims wanted to "gun down everybody"

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The U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday that it arrested two men last night for plotting to attack a military recruitment facility in Seattle with machine guns and hand grenades (the building also houses a federal daycare center). The department explains that law enforcement officials were tipped off to the threat by someone whom the two men approached about participating in the attack and supplying them with firearms. The two men--Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif (a.k.a. Joseph Anthony Davis) of Seattle and Walli Mujahidh (a.k.a. Frederick Domingue, Jr., of Los Angeles) had been under video and audio surveillance for some time, and agents had rendered their weapons inoperable. If convicted of the charges against them, Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh could be imprisoned for life.

Terrorism expert J.M. Berger says both men fit the "individual jihad" terrorist model in that they appear to have been "radicalized American Muslims" acting "independently and without contacting a formal terrorist network such as al-Qaeda." Indeed, the official complaint cites taped conversations in which Abdul-Latif explained that he wanted to carry out the attack because of his anger over U.S. military activities in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen. He even suggested leaving pictures of U.S. soldiers involved in alleged atrocities at the building's front desk to drive home the rationale for the assault. The recordings also captured Mujahidh imagining the headlines after the attack--"Three Muslim Males Walk Into MEPS Building, Seattle, Washington, And Gun Down Everybody"--and adding that the article would also say that the attackers "were killed on sight."

Seattle's KIRO TV has posted "uncut" footage of the FBI raiding the apartment of one of the suspects but, since the video mainly involves agents standing around a door and drinking bottled water, we can't say it lives up to expectations. You can watch the footage here.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.