Would-be Seattle terrorist avoids life sentence with guilty plea
One of two men accused in a plot to attack a South Seattle military installation has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges following a plea agreement expected to allow him to avoid a life sentence.
Arrested along with the purported mastermind of the plot on June 22, Walli Mujahidh pleaded guilty Thursday morning in U.S. District Court at Seattle.
Mujahidh, a Los Angeles man born Frederick Domingue, Jr., and SeaTac resident Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif had previously been indicted on nine counts related to the purported plot against the Military Entrance Processing Station on East Marginal Way South, an administrative center used by new recruits and Department of Defense employees in the area.
Charged June 23 with planning a suicidal attack against a East Marginal Way South recruit processing center, Abdul-Latif – born Joseph Anthony Davis – and Mujahidh, 32, have been jailed since. Both men faced life sentences if convicted as charged; Mujahidh will likely be sentenced to 27 to 32 years in prison due to the plea agreement.
"This defendant tried to carry out a plot to kill American servicemen and women, and other innocent citizens who happened to be at the federal facility on the day of the planned attack," U.S. Attorney for Western Washington Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement. Durkan went on to thank law officers involved in the investigation and Muslim leaders who worked with them.
Defense attorney Michele Shaw told the Associated Press Mujahidh has a long history of "chronic, relentless" mental illness, including 12 stays at psychiatric hospitals. He has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder with bipolar tendencies.
"Walli is very ashamed of his behavior and has wanted to accept responsibility for his participation," Shaw said. "He had a fundamental misunderstanding of Islam."
Federal prosecutors claim Abdul-Latif was arming himself, Mujahidh and a man who later went to police for an attack against a Department of Defense induction center. Authorities say they learned of the plan after the man asked by Abdul-Latif to join in the attack went to authorities.
In court documents, Abdul-Latif is described as a man who idolized Osama bin Laden and was angry about American military activities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen. Federal prosecutors claim to have Abdul-Latif on tape praising terrorists, complaining about American abuses overseas and preparing to attack the two-story building.
Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh are charged with planning to storm the center with automatic rifles and
grenades in order to kill recruits and Department of Defense employees working there.