Story Summary

Seattle terror plot

On June 23, 2011, two suspects were arrested for planning to attack a U.S. military facility in the Seattle area. Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh were turned in to police by an informant.

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Local News
04/16/13

Is Seattle a target for terrorists?

SEATTLE — A paid police informant who helped authorities shut down a terror plot in Seattle in 2011 said in an exclusive interview that radical jihadists are targeting Seattle. Watch the video.

SEATTLE — Two men were recently sentenced for a terror plot to kill as many people as possible at a military processing center in south Seattle.

Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif  got 18 years in prison and Walli Mujahidh received 17 years.

The plot unraveled after Abdul-Latif asked a fellow radical Muslim he met in prison to help with the attack. What he didn’t know was the man he asked wanted to save lives, not take them.

“He (the man who became an informant) was the reason that people were not killed here,” said acting Seattle police Lt. Erik Allen, who was a sergeant in the intelligence unit when the informant, ‘Robert’, approached police about Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh.

“Were it not for the information he provided, if it were not for his change of heart, we absolutely would have had a tragedy that would have been on the scale of Fort Hood (Texas, where 13 were killed on the military base by a lone gunman in 2009), if not greater. We would have had three times the shooters they had at Fort Hood so he played the critical role.”

But the route he took to go from convicted felon and radical Muslim to informant in a terror plot first took Robert far away from Seattle. His traveled to Turkey.

“My original intent was to use that (Turkey) as a means to get into Chechnya; I actually wanted to go over there and fight for the Muslims,” Robert said.

But Robert made friends in Turkey with a German man named Tillman Geske.

“He’s (Geske) in Turkey as a Christian missionary running a Christian publishing house there, and our informant gets to know him because he is another English-speaking person in the same community,” Allen said.

Robert liked Geske, who, along with two other Christians, produced study bibles before they were savagely killed by Turkish radicals.

“Tillman alone was stabbed over 150 times; he was disemboweled,” Robert said.

He said his friend’s slaying changed his mindset.

“He was just awestruck that that man was targeted to be killed, because he was a good man, he was just helping people,” Allen said.

“I was appalled and essentially it was one of those questions where I asked myself, am I this type of person?” Robert said.

Robert literally came back a changed man. But Abdul-Latif didn’t know that. He thought the radical Muslim who left was the same one who returned. When he asked Robert about getting automatic weapons for the planned attack in Seattle, Robert turned informant.

Robert was asked what he thought Tillman think about him stopping this terrorist plot.

“To him, it was just God’s will,” Robert said. “It had nothing to do with whether he was alive or dead, whether I was present or not. It was just God’s will.”

Allen said he believes it was providence that Geske and Robert met in Turkey.

“His sacrifice, him being martyred there in Turkey, was the transformative event. It was the thing that changed the mind of the guy that`s going to be in position to stop a crime here in Seattle years later,” Allen said.

Robert was paid as an informant, but said he didn’t ask for the money, he just wanted his criminal record wiped clean. That has not happened yet.

SEATTLE — Walli Mujahidh, who pleaded guilty in December 2011 to conspiracy to commit murder and to use weapons of mass destruction to attack recruits at a military facility in south Seattle, was sentenced Monday to 17 years in prison. His accomplice, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, got 18 years last month.

They were both arrested after an informant named “Robert” contacted Seattle police when Abdul-Latif asked him if he could get automatic weapons and grenades. They planned to kill hundreds of people,  including young military recruits.

The informant worked with Seattle Police Department officers and FBI agents to record hours of conversations with them,  including their attack plans.

“It would have been an absolutely devastating day,” Robert said in an exclusive interview with Q13 FOX News.

He said the two planned to kill the armed guard, then throw grenades into rooms and shoot anyone that moved.  Robert said it was a planned suicide mission.

“At one point he even said, ‘Let`s keep some people alive for hostages because the cops are going to show up, and we`ll shoot out with them … maybe we can get away.’”

The terrorists were angry about alleged U.S. atrocities in the Middle East, he said.

“There was also the intent of making CDs or DVDs and leaving them inside the truck. It was a suicide mission; that way they`d know who did it and why they did it,” Robert said.

Acting Seattle police Lt. Erik Allen was a sergeant in the intelligence unit and supervised the detectives who worked for months with Robert. Two FBI agents were also assigned to the case. \

“Were it not for that informant being in place, the first we would have known would have been the 911 calls from the Military Entrance Processing Station,” Allen said.

Robert is a convicted felon who had become a Muslim and served time in prison with Abdul-Latif. He approached a friend who convinced him to go to police after Abdul-Latif asked him to get machine guns and grenades.

He said he became an informant because, “I knew that there`s too great of a chance of this actually happening.”

Defense attorneys argued Robert was the mastermind behind the plot, but Robert denies that.

“I gave both of them a way out. I asked them, are you sure you want to do this? I won`t think any less of you if you decide you want to back out and scrap this, and both of them every time said, ‘Are you crazy? No, we`re doing this.’”

During the sting operation that led to Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif’s arrest, Robert said he handed them automatic weapons that had been rendered inoperable, and that it was like seeing kids in a candy store.

“They’re pulling the triggers, dropping clips even though the clips were empty, putting clips in and everything like that and getting in kneeling positions, aiming up, everything of that sort,” Robert said.

The terrorists planned to bury the rifles and then train.

Robert said Abdul-Latif “wanted to go through hundreds, if not thousands of rounds, to be able to hit as many targets (people) as possible and waste as little ammo as possible.”

When asked if the plot would have been successful if he had been in on it instead of turning informant, Robert said, “Most likely.”

The two men were arrested when Abdul-Latif paid Robert for the guns.

SEATTLE — Walli Mujahidh, 34, who pleaded guilty in December 2011 to conspiracy to commit murder and to use weapons of mass destruction to attack recruits at a military facility in south Seattle, was sentenced Monday to 17 years in prison.

Mujahidh’s accomplice, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif was sentenced to 18 years in prison last month.

“This defendant (Mujahidh) was a cold-hearted, enthusiastic partner in this murderous scheme. He talked at length in recorded conversations about the innocent people he planned to gun down. Even after his arrest, he boldly tried to justify his plot,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said.

Both Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kill officers of the United States.

The federal judge on Monday ruled that Mujahidh, who suffers from a mental disorder, would serve 17 years in prison.

walli mujahidhHis defense attorney, Michele Walsh, said, “That certainly, as the court stated, doesn’t excuse his behavior, but it was a part of why he was seduced into doing what he did.”

Law enforcement became aware of the conspiracy when a citizen alerted them they had been approached by Abdul-Latif about participating in the attack and supplying firearms to the conspirators. That person then began working with authorities as an informant.

The Seattle Times reported earlier that U.S. District Court Judge James Robart said during the sentencing hearing for Abdul-Latif that the defendant did not get a life sentence due to a “at best, sloppy” investigation that involved a deceitful informant and a Seattle police detective who destroyed and/or lost evidence.

The informant was a five-time convicted sex offender who was paid more than $100,000 by the government. And according to court documents, the Times said, both the defense and FBI tried and failed to retrieve evidence for the case from Seattle police detective Samuel DeJesus’ phone, but it was either lost or destroyed.

In early June 2011, the details of the conspirators’ planned assault on the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) were videotaped and recorded. The MEPS is where each branch of the military screens and processes enlistees. The MEP also houses numerous civilian and military employees and has a federal day care center.

Mujahidh traveled to Seattle from Los Angeles to participate in the attack. Arriving June 21, 2011, he then met with Abdul-Latif and the informant and outlined their plan.  After the informant delivered three machine guns to Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh the following day, they were arrested.

“During the planning sessions for the attack, Mujahidh made clear that he was eager to kill his intended victims, and as many as possible. He made numerous statements along these lines while he and Abdul-Latif planned out the play-by-play movements of the attackers using the map of the Federal Center South building,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

Authorities said the two men wanted to harm the U.S. government.

“This sends a very strong message to others who would harm us. In simple words: Don’t, don’t try,” Durkan said.

SEATTLE — A federal judge sentenced Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif to 18 years in prison for planning to kill dozens of military recruits and government employees at a Seattle military processing center.

The FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force said Abdul-Latif, 35, aka Joseph Anthony Davis, is an extremely dangerous man.

“He is a violent man with violent political views and today the good guys came out on top and our community is much safer because of that,” said FBI agent Steve Dean.

With the help of an informant, authorities were able to hear about Abdul-Latif’s plot to carry out an attack with co-defendant Walli Mujahidh using multiple grenades and machine guns at the Military Entrance Processing Station on East Marginal Way South on July 5, 2011, according to charges.

Abdul-Latif pleaded guilty in December.

terror sentencingIn a recording, Abdul-Latif can be heard saying, “How about we enter, we throw a grenade in there. We throw a grenade in here and then we just keep going. We just hit who we see. You know? We go up in here, we take everybody out here and then we run back out. And, once we get here, we throw a grenade here. Prevent anyone from following us. Then, we go up in here, throw maybe one or two grenades even to prevent people from following us out.”

The defense argued the informant, a convicted felon, actually encouraged Abdul-Latif during the planning process and that their client was not some terrorist mastermind.

Abdul-Latif’s defense attorney, Jennifer Wellman, said, “I think it is a case based on an informant who had money and ego at issue and he took advantage of a susceptible target and then went with it.”

In fact, The Seattle Times reported, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart said during the sentencing hearing that Abdul-Latif did not get a life sentence due to a “at best, sloppy” investigation that involved a deceitful informant and a Seattle police detective who destroyed and/or lost evidence.

The informant was a five-time convicted sex offender who was paid more than $100,000 by the government.  And according to court documents, the Times said, both the defense and FBI tried and failed to retrieve evidence from Seattle police detective Samuel DeJesus’ phone.

Abdul-Latif’s wife, Binta Moussa-Davis, has stood by her husband’s side during this entire process.

“The informant is a horrible, way horrible person,” she said. “He’s not reliable. He lied to the government. He lied to everybody.”

“Saints don’t bring us the sinners and our job is to make sure we prevent crime from happening and hold those accountable who commit crimes,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan replied, in response to the credibility of the witness.

Authorities say people can now breathe easier knowing Abdul-Latif is behind bars for almost two decades.

“This sentence sends a very strong message to others who would harm us,” Durkan said.  “In simple words, don’t. Don’t try.”

terror targetMonday, May 30 : Source meets with Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif

According to court documents, on or around May 30th, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif attempted to recruit somone to join the conspiracy. Abdul-Latif told that person that he and another man in Los Angeles were planning an attack against a United States military facility.

Friday, June 3: Source reports conspiracy to law enforcement

Days later, that recruit told seattle police about the plan. He identified the target as Joint Base Lewis McChord and Abdul-Latif’s alleged accomplice — Walli Mujahidh. The suspects had two goals: Get firearms and train for the attack.

“I think if you see what is alleged in the complaint and what is public record, it is clear these people felt that they needed to avenge the operations of the United States abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “They felt that was wrong and an insult to their faith and that they were inspired by others like Major Hassan in Fort Hood.”

Tuesday, June 7: Abdul-Latif meets the informant.

Court documents show that Abdul-Latif met with the police informant about scoping out the ‘MEPS’ building on East Marginal Way.

Wednesday, June 8: Abdul-Latif and informant visit the ‘MEPS’ building in Seattle.

It was around June 8th when investigators said Abdul-Latif and the informant actually scouted the ‘MEPS’ building. Abdul-Latif noticed a security guard and cameras, but said he wasn’t worried about the guard because, “We’ll just kill him right away . . . We can kill him first.” Abdul-Latif told the informant to get firearms, ammunition and grenades. The plan was to attack recruits and other military personnel in the building.

Tuesday, June 14:  Arrangements made for Mujahidh to travel from LA to Seattle

On June 14th, the plan sprang into action. Investigators said Abdul-Latif arranged for Mujahidh to catch a bus to seattle.

Monday, June 20 and Tuesday, June 21: Weapons are inspected.

Abdul-Latif inspected samples of weapons, then gave the informant $800 in cash to pay for them.

Wednesday, June 23: Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif pick up weapons.

After Mujahidh arrived in Seattle this week, he and Abdul-Latif met with the informant to pick up the weapons. Each were arrested.

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