A man accused of a terrorist plot to gun down military recruits in Seattle last year pleaded guilty Thursday and faces a prison sentence of up to 19 years.
The man, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, 35, admitted to conspiring to shoot up a military processing center in an attack planned for July 5, 2011. He was arrested in June 2011 after he agreed to buy rifles and grenades that it turned out were supplied by the FBI in a sting operation, according to the indictment.
Had he been convicted, Abdul-Latif — who was born Joseph Anthony Davis but assumed the new name after he converted to Islam — could have faced life in prison. A co-conspirator, Walli Mujahidh, 33, formerly Frederick Domingue Jr., pleaded guilty in December 2011 and faces 27 to 32 years in prison.
The plea deal, in which several counts were dropped, heads off what could have been a potentially embarrassing hearing for prosecutors. Abdul-Latif's lawyers had planned to call two federal prosecutors to explain why a police detective destroyed nearly 400 email from the confidential informant who tipped off authorities to the plot.
U.S. District Judge James Robert ruled last week that the prosecutors could be called as witnesses at the hearing and recommended that they be removed from the case, calling the deletion of the emails "a self-inflicted wound on the part of the U.S. attorney's office," NBC station KING of Seattle reported.
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