SEATTLE – One of two men charged with planning to attack a Seattle military recruiting station last summer has agreed to plead guilty, his lawyer said Wednesday.
Michele Shaw, an attorney for Walli Mujahidh, confirmed to The Associated Press that he will plead guilty to multiple charges in federal court Thursday, after the change-of-plea hearing was posted in the court calendar. She declined to comment further.
The 32-year-old from Los Angeles was arrested in June along with Khalid Abdul-Latif of Seattle in an FBI sting. Federal prosecutors said the men were taken into custody when they arrived at a warehouse garage to pick up machine guns to use in the attack.
Investigators said they learned of the plot when someone that Abdul-Latif recruited to obtain weapons turned to Seattle police and then acted as a paid confidential informant.
The alleged target, the Military Entrance Processing Station on East Marginal Way in Seattle, is a recruiting station for all military branches.
Abdul-Latif, also known as Joseph Anthony Davis, and Walli Mujahidh, also known as Frederick Domingue Jr., each faced up to life in prison. Inspired in part by the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, and the recent prosecutions of Washington state-based soldiers for the deaths of three Afghan civilians, they planned the attack for weeks and fantasized about the media attention they'd receive, according to a federal complaint.
The pair is charged with conspiracy to murder officers and employees of the United States, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and possession of firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence. Abdul-Latif is also charged with two counts of illegal possession of firearms.
Abdul-Latif was scheduled to face trial next May.
Prosecutors did not divulge how the suspects became acquainted, though Mujahidh formerly lived in Seattle. He was convicted in municipal court of violating a domestic violence protection order stemming from a 2007 incident.
Mujahidh voluntarily spoke with investigators after the arrests and confessed, according to the federal complaint against them. The pair initially planned an attack on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but later shifted to what they considered an easier target, the complaint said.
Abdul-Latif, 33, has a criminal record and a troubled family past, but allegations that he plotted a terrorist attack surprised those who knew him. He appears to have posted several videos on YouTube expressing sympathy for al-Qaida's leader in Yemen and excitement about a radical interpretation of Islam.
"We must establish jihad," Abdul-Latif said in a video posted in May. "I don't care what anybody says about that: You can turn me in to the FBI or whatever. We need to establish jihad with the tongue, with the heart and with the hand."
The Associated Press was not able to independently confirm the YouTube account was Abdul-Latif's, but the name and age posted on the account match him, and the videos appeared to depict him.