SEATTLE -- Two men have been arrested in a plot to attack a Seattle military recruiting station, reports the U.S. Justice Department and FBI.
Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, who also went by Joseph Anthony Davis, 33, of Seattle (pictured above), and Walli Mujahidh, also known as Frederick Domingue, Jr., 32, of Los Angeles, will face terrorism and firearms charges for the suspected plot.
Court documents: Federal charges in Seattle terror plot
Officials said Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh bought machine guns, intending to shoot men and women enlisting in the armed forces at the Military Entrance Processing Station on East Marginal Way (MEPS).
Driven by a violent, extreme ideology, these two young Americans are charged with plotting to murder men and women who were enlisting in the Armed Forces to serve and protect our country, said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
However, law enforcement said Thursday neither of men knew the guns they purchased were inoperable, posing no public safety risk. Grenades were to also be used, officials said.
According to Justice Department officials, the attack was initially planned for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but the two men later decided on MEPS as the target.
Law enforcement stated they have known about the plot for some time, and have been monitoring Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh in the meantime, keeping tabs on their activity.
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Abdul-Latif: 'We'll just kill him right away'
Police first found out about the plot when a citizen alerted a Seattle Police detective, saying he was approached by Abdul-Latif on May 30.
According to charging papers, the informant said Abdul-Latif asked him if he wanted to play a role in an attack on a military facility with him and another man from Los Angeles.
After the initial contact, the informant went to Seattle Police.
The complainant felt safe approaching a Seattle Police Detective and, in doing so, ended the plot
intended to take innocent lives, said Seattle Police Chief John Diaz.
With the help of the informant, law enforcement then began recording the suspects, both on audio and video tape, discussing the plot, said Justice Department officials.
Charging documents show on June 6, Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh as well as the informant spoke on the phone about general aspects of the plot, including the need to get a hold of firearms and train with them. Documents show during that conversation, Mujahidh assured Abdul-Latif that he was committed to carrying out the plan.
The next day, federal officials say Abdul-Latif told the informant it was time to check out the MEPS location and make a plan from there.
Abdul-Latif and the informant met together onJune 8 to do so, according to FBI. The pair drove to the MEPS, parked and looked around the property. Peering inside the front doors, Abdul-Latif noted a security guard inside, but said, We'll just kill him right away...we can kill him first.
On the same day, the informant was instructed by Abdul-Latif to get a hold of machine guns, ammunition, magazines and grenades to use during the attack, charging papers show.
During the next week, law enforcement learned Mujahidh made plans to come to Seattle via bus from Los Angeles on June 20.
Over the next few days, the informant met with Abdul-Latif to review weapons and gave him $800 to pay for the materials, charging documents show. On June 21, the trio met together to discuss the plotted attack, and met again on June 22, when both Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh were arrested.
Official charges carry life sentences
Officially, Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh are charged by complaint with:
- conspiracy to murder officers and employees of the United States
- conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (grenades)
- possession of firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence.
Additionally, Abdul-Latif is charged with two counts of illegal possession of firearms.
Both men face life in prison if convicted of the charges.