There have been at least eight attacks or alleged plots against military installations since 2009, including the November 2009 Fort Hood massacre, in which 13 people died at the Texas Army base. Palestinian-American Army Major Nidal Hasan, who had exchanged emails about jihad with Anwar al-Awlaki, is currently awaiting trial on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. Just this week, Marine Reservist Yonathan Melaku was charged with shooting at military sites, including the Pentagon, after he was arrested in Arlington National Cemetery with a backpack full of inert ammonium nitrate. Melaku allegedly videotaped himself shouting “Allahu Akbar” while shooting at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico and had a list of bomb-making materials in his home.
The FBI say Abdul-Latif hoped the attack on the Seattle processing center would inspire other Muslims to carry out similar assaults on enlistment centers. According to the criminal complaint filed Thursday, Mujahidh told FBI agents that he wanted to die a martyr, and said the purpose of the attack was to kill U.S. military personnel so they could not be deployed to Islamic lands.
Abdul-Latif referred admiringly to the 2009 Fort Hood massacre, according to a confidential informant who is quoted in the criminal complaint. Abdul-Latif allegedly said that “if one person could kill so many people, three attackers could kill many more” and that if he was killed in his own attack, his son would be proud he had fought the “non-believers.”