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January 30, 2012 0

Video Suggests Military Shooter Motivated by Extremist Ideology

A video show­ing for­mer Marine Corps reservist Yonathan Melaku shoot­ing at mil­i­tary facil­i­ties in the fall of 2010 has been released by fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors. Melaku, who pleaded guilty to weapons vio­la­tions and caus­ing prop­erty dam­age to gov­ern­ment facil­i­ties ear­lier this month, is shown wear­ing a mask and fir­ing his gun at the National Museum of the Marine Corps while repeat­edly chant­ing “Allahu Akbar” and say­ing “mis­sion accom­plished” with Islamic music play­ing in the back­ground.

Melaku, a nat­u­ral­ized cit­i­zen orig­i­nally from Ethiopia, was arrested on June 17, 2011, for tres­pass­ing in Arling­ton National Ceme­tery. Spent shell cas­ings, a note­book that con­tained ref­er­ences to the Tal­iban, Al Qaeda and mujahideen, were found in his back­pack at the time of his arrest, along with pow­der that was later con­firmed to be ammo­nium nitrate, a sub­stance which can be used in bombs.  Foren­sic analy­sis linked Melaku to a string of late night shoot­ing attacks at the Pen­ta­gon, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, and two mil­i­tary recruit­ing cen­ters in 2010.
Melaku’s com­ments in the video, along with the other evi­dence, sug­gest that his attacks were moti­vated by an extreme ide­ol­ogy that has moti­vated other attacks and plots against the U.S. mil­i­tary.

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