The Northern Virginia man arrested last week for causing a terror scare near the Pentagon has been charged with shootings at four military sites and is also suspected of building a bomb, according to court filings.
Marine Reservist Yonathan Melaku videotaped himself firing shots at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, as well as at the Pentagon and two military recruiting centers between mid-October and early November of last year. The incidents occurred late at night or early in the morning, and Melaku is seen shouting "Allahu Akbar" after each shooting.
Evidence also suggests that Melaku was in the process of building a bomb. Melaku was in possession of ammonium nitrate when he was arrested last Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. During a subsequent search of his Alexandria home, federal agents found a typed list of bomb-making materials with the heading "timer."
"The items on this list are consistent with the requirements for a time power unit and firing mechanism of an improvised explosive device (IED). Those items, combined with Ammonium Nitrate, would in fact make up several significant components required for the manufacture of an IED," stated an FBI bomb technician in the case affidavit.
According to the affidavit, agents also discovered several documents about bomb-making and explosives on Melaku's computer.
James McJunkin, FBI Assistant Director in charge of the Washington Field Office, would not say how close Melaku was to manufacturing a functional bomb in a press conference today, but the FBI affidavit alleged that a number of items on the bomb-making list had already been crossed off.
Melaku has not been charged with any terrorism offenses but according to the U.S. Attorney's office, if convicted, Melaku can serve a minimum of 35 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.