War crimes case may have influenced Seattle terror suspects

Jun 25, 2011

The Seattle terror plot federal authorities say they foiled this week may have been fueled – in part – by alleged war crimes committed by Washington-based soldiers. Court documents indicate one of the terrorism suspects referred to alleged "atrocities" by soldiers charged in the so-called "kill team" case.

According to federal charging documents, suspect Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif discussed the ongoing "kill team" case at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in a meeting secretly recorded by the FBI:

"Abdul-Latif said that he was not comfortable with letting the court system deal with these matters."

He was referring to six soldiers from the Army post near Tacoma who are accused of murdering or conspiring to murder unarmed Afghan civilians. One soldier in that case has pleaded guilty.

Still U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan in Seattle cautions this war crimes case was not the sole motivating factor for the men accused in the terror plot.

"They had a whole range of complaints and it's difficult to really make any sense of that motivation," Durkan said. "Particularly when the acts they were going to do were so chilling and so wrong."

The men are accused of planning to use machine guns and grenades to kill staff at a Department of Defense processing station in Seattle. Court records also suggest an attack on Joint Base Lewis-McChord was considered.

Abdul-Latif also expressed his personal views in more than a dozen self-recorded YouTube videos, in which he proclaims his Muslim faith, his mistrust of the United States and the need for followers of Islam to unite.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network