A Los Angeles man is suspected of planning to attack a military recruiting station with machine guns and grenades, according to the United States Justice Department.
Walli Mujahidh, also known as Frederick Domingue, Jr., was charged with terrorism and firearms-related charges involving the alleged plot.
Authorities said that Mujahidh, 32, and Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, also known as Joseph Anthony Davis, of Seattle, planned to attack the military facility. The building is used to process military enlistees and also houses a federal daycare center.
The alleged plot was in retaliation of the US military presence in Iraq an Afghanistan, according to the United States Justice Department.
Agents became aware of the terror plot through an individual the two men asked for help obtaining firearms, according to authorities. Abdul-Latif, 33, had little knowledge of weapons, but served briefly in the Navy in the mid-1990s and was familiar with recruiting stations like the one they targeted, according to a criminal complaint.
Unbeknownst to the two men, the informant approached authorities and worked with them to monitor the plot and render the weapons bought as inoperable, leaving them unable to cause harm to others.
The two men believe that attacking the military is a Muslim duty, and their goal was to kill as many military personnel as possible, according to the Justice Department.
"The complaint alleges these men intended to carry out a deadly attack against our military where they should be most safe, here at home," said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif had been plotting the attack for weeks, sketching out diagrams and buying weapons, including machine guns and grenades, said Durkan.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle said Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif planned to attack Joint Base Lewis-McChord but later changed targets.
"If we can get control of the building and we can hold it for a while, then we'll get the local news down there, the media down there, you know what I'm saying," Abdul-Latif was quoted as saying. "It's a confined space, not a lot of people carrying weapons, and we'd have an advantage."
Mujahidh pictured the headline -- "Three Muslim Males Walk Into MEPS Building, Seattle, Washington, And Gun Down Everybody" -- according to the court document. Authorities said the two planned to use machine guns and grenades in the attack. In audio and video recordings, they discussed the plot, including strategies to time their attack on military recruits, such as by tossing grenades in the cafeteria, the complaint said.
The attack would not target "anybody innocent -- that means old people, women out of uniform, any children," Abdul-Latif allegedly said. "Just people who wear the green for the kaffir army, that's who we're going after."
Authorities said the two were very close to carrying out the attack.
"This attack was foiled because of the trust and relationships the men and women of the Seattle Police Department enjoy with our community," said Seattle Police Chief John Diaz. "The complainant felt safe approaching a Seattle Police Detective, and, in doing so, ended the plot intended to take innocent lives."
Both Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif were charged by conspiracy to murder officers and employees of the United States, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (grenades), and possession of firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence.
Both men face life in prison if convicted.