One of two defendants charged with plotting to attack a military recruiting location has pled guilty, according to the Department of Justice. The plot was intended to inspire other young radicals to launch attacks on American forces, and was itself motivated by the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, prosecutors argued.
"Why don't we all just go into there with guns blazing and just lay everybody down," Walli Mujahidh said in a recording by investigators. Mujahidh, alongside codefendant and jail convert Abu Khalid Abdul Latif, planned the massacre of military personnel at the Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) in Seattle.
During his plea hearing, the 33-year-old's lawyers claimed he was "very ashamed of his behavior," suffered from chronic mental illness, and had a "fundamental misunderstanding of Islam." He faces 27-32 years on charges of conspiracy to kill officers of the United States, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
"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 Jenny A. Durkan said in a Justice Department news release.
"The FBI is pleased that Mr. Mujahidh accepted responsibility for his actions, but this case remains a chilling reminder that there is constant work to be done," said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Laughlin. The second defendant, Abdul Latif, still faces a nine-count indictment and the potential for multiple life sentences.
The number of threats and plots against America's armed forces promoted the Republicans of the House Homeland Security Committee to issue a new report on the subject. The report calls the U.S. homeland, "the most dangerous place for a G.I. outside of foreign warzones," and calls violent Islamist the most serious threat.