Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif
The defendant is seen holding a fully automatic M-4 rifle that, unknown to Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, had been disabled by federal agents before it was provided to him by the informant. (US Attorney's Office)

SeaTac man sentenced 18 years for terror plot

A SeaTac man who once said he admired Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 18 years in prison for planning a terror attack in Seattle.

Federal Judge James Robart on Monday also sentenced Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif to 10 years supervised release.

Abdul-Latif previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder U.S. officers and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.

Prosecutors argued for a 19-year prison sentence with lifetime supervision following his release, saying the 35-year-old Abdul-Latif directed major aspects of the planned attack.

Before his arrest in 2011, Abdul-Latif posted videos on YouTube in which he said speaking in defense of Muslims was no longer enough.

"We talk a lot. It's just lip service. This is something I myself, along with the rest of the Muslim Ummah, we have to correct," said Abdul-Latif.

According to a federal complaint, it was his anger over the actions of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan that led him to plot against a military processing center in Seattle.

The Seattle Times reports Abdul-Latif, formerly Joseph Davis, found religion at Western State Hospital. He was undergoing a mental health evaluation as he stood accused of robbery charges.

He was eventually found competent to stand trial despite a history of mental health issues. Hospital records indicate two suicide attempts and show Abdul-Latif at times heard voices and had visions.

After he served three years in prison for robbery, Abdul-Latif became Muslim, changed his name, got married, started a janitorial service, and had a baby. Then, in 2011 he was accused of plotting terror.

Mayor Mike McGinn made the announcement. He said a police informant had come forward with information.

"He had been approached about participating in the attack and supplying firearms to the conspirators," said McGinn.

Seattle Police called in the FBI. Through secret audio and video recordings, they were able to get evidence of the plan being hatched by Abdul-Latif and a co-conspirator from Los Angeles, Walli Mujahidh.

Law enforcement set up a sting to sell the men automatic weapons. Authorities had altered the weapons before the transaction so they were inoperable.

Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh were planning to use those automatic weapons and grenades to attack a military processing facility on East Mardinal Way South in Seattle.

"In addition to housing many civilian and military employees, the building houses a federal daycare facility as well," said McGinn.

According to the federal charges, Abdul-Latif hoped to inspire other violence around the world with his attack in Seattle.

Following sentencing Abdul-Latif's attorney, Jennifer Wellman, refuted some of the claims her client plead guilty to. "We still firmly believe this was not a foiled plot, that it was manipulated by the informant with the helping hand of the government."

Wellman said she believed Abdul-Latif entered into the plea deal because he felt it was important to acknowledge his responsibility for embracing the attack and he understood the stakes at hand. "He is not somebody who belongs behind bars for the rest of his life by virtue of this mistake."

Mujahidh is scheduled for sentencing later this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Kim Shepard, KIRO Radio Reporter
Kim Shepard is a news anchor and reporter for KIRO Radio and the office optimist. She's energetic, quick to laugh and has a positive outlook on life.
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