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24 June 2011

US pair charged with Fort Hood-style massacre plot

ALeqM5iI-3Umar9jt0ItNXknRi588YRSQQ.jpgTwo US men were charged Thursday with plotting to attack a Seattle military center with machine guns and grenades in the hopes of killing more people than a single gunman achieved in the deadly 2009 attack at Fort Hood

Their aim was to inspire other Muslims to carry out similar attacks and one was allegedly caught on tape saying "Imagine how fearful America will be, and they'll know they can't push the Muslims around."

The men, who are reportedly converts to Islam, planned to use machine guns and grenades in order to kill as many people as possible in a military processing center that also houses a day care facility.

They were caught because a person the men recruited to join them contacted police to report the plot and agreed help with an FBI sting.

The charges were announced just hours after a US Marine reservist arrested near the Pentagon with an explosives component was charged in five late-night shootings at military installations that caused $100,000 in damage.

They come amid rising concerns about so-called home-grown terrorism in the United States.

"This is one of a number of recent plots targeting our military here at home," said Todd Hinnen, acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

"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."

Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, aka Joseph Anthony Davis, 33, of Seattle, and Walli Mujahidh, aka Frederick Domingue, Jr., 32, of Los Angeles, were arrested late Wednesday after taking possession of machine guns they planned to use in the attacks.

The guns had been rendered inoperable as part of the sting operation, officials said.

"This is a sobering reminder of our need to be vigilant and that our first line of defense is the people who live in our community," US Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a statement.

"We were able to disrupt the plot because someone stepped forward and reported it to authorities."

The Seattle Times reported that the men are "self-radicalized" converts to Islam who had no known ties to Al-Qaeda or other terrorism groups.

A spokeswoman for the US attorney's office declined to comment on their background except to say that they are US citizens.

Charging papers said that Abdul-Latif has at least two felony convictions for robbery while Mujahidh has no convictions under either of his names.

Abdul-Latif allegedly approached the 'confidential source' -- who has an extensive criminal history -- for help on May 30 because he didn't have any weapons experience.

He initially said he wanted to drive a van through the guard gate at nearby Fort Lewis and kill soldiers in retaliation for the actions of US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, the charge sheet said.

He later decided to target the processing center because many potential victims would be unarmed, it said, adding that he planned to make a DVD with the title "the reason we killing your people."

Mujahidh, who arrived in Seattle on Tuesday after taking a bus up from Los Angeles, allegedly said he would prefer being killed by police during the attack than ending up in jail and that he didn't care if he killed civilians along with soldiers.

"This is my way of getting rid of sins, man... I got so many of 'em," Mujahidh allegedly said in the secret FBI tapes.

Abdul-Latif said he didn't feel comfortable killing children but wanted to make sure the attacks were severe enough to garner a lot of attention.

"We're not only trying to kill people, we're trying to send a message," he allegedly said. "We're trying to get something that's gonna be on CNN and all over the world... That's what we want."

Both men face up to life in prison if convicted of the terrorism and weapons charges.

The November 5, 2009 shooting at Fort Hood in Texas left 13 people dead and 29 wounded. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan -- an American-born Muslim on Palestinian descent -- is charged in the attack.



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