Military Shootings Suspect a “Homegrown Terrorist”

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    The suspect in a series of shootings at military targets likely acted alone, a criminal profiler said. (Published Thursday, Jun 23, 2011)

    The suspect in a series of shootings at military targets likely acted alone, a criminal profiler told NBC Washington Thursday.

    Yonathan Melaku’s October and November overnight shootings of the Marine Corps Museum, the Pentagon and two recruiting stations were intended to shut the targets down, authorities said. Melaku was charged Thursday. He was developed as a suspect after he was detained for trespassing Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Marine Reservist Charged in Military Building Shootings

    [DC] Marine Reservist Charged in Military Building Shootings
    Yonathan Melaku, 22, is charged in five shootings at military buildings in Northern Virginia (Published Thursday, Jun 23, 2011)

    “I believe this man is a homegrown terrorist because I don’t believe he’s part of a major group that put him out there,” criminal profiler and anti-terrorism trainer Pat Brown said. “He’s looking for something to do. He’s looking to make a name for himself, to make people frightened, to see how much power he has.”

    Authorities said they found a video of one of the shootings in Melaku’s home. After firing several shots, he can be heard exclaiming “Allahu Akbar” – “God is great” in Arabic – according to the Department of Justice.

    Sources: Pentagon Scare Suspect Linked to Military Facility Shootings

    [DC] Sources: Pentagon Scare Suspect Linked to Military Facility Shootings
    Sources tell News4 the man arrested following a security scare at the Pentagon last week may be linked to suspicious shootings at military facilities in our area. (Published Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011)

    “This is something he’s going to fantasize about later,” Brown said. “He can go home and he can watch himself doing it and feel the excitement of dong it. It’s his little memory book, essentially.”

    In October, authorities said they believed the shooter was a current of former Marine. Melaku, 22, was a Marine reservist but had never been deployed overseas.

    “Tests for unstableness are done before the troops are deployed,” Marine Corps Lt. Col. Chris Hughes said regarding Melaku’s mental health.

    Melaku was assigned to driving trucks and operating equipment.

    “The fact that this man is a Marine means that he’s angry at something that’s going on,” Brown said. “Maybe he didn’t get the promotion he wanted. Maybe he’s not getting the respect he wants. He’s trying to get back at someone, his own employer. It’s like going postal but he’s added terrorism to it because that makes him feel better about himself, like he’s doing something valid in the world.”

    Brown said she believes Melaku is a psychopath. Profilers say psychopaths are often "losers" who frighten people in an effort to show they have power. She said it's good Melaku was caught because given more time, he could have become more violent and more dangerous.


    Fan, Follow and Text: Get the latest from NBCWashington.com anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Sign up for our e-mail newsletters and get breaking news delivered right to your mobile phone -- just text DCBREAKING to 622339 to sign up. (Message and data rates may apply.)