NYT Omits Men Plotting to Attack Military Processing Center in Seattle Were Radical Muslim Converts

June 24th, 2011 11:20 AM

The New York Times Friday reported two men were arrested in Seattle earlier in the week for plotting to attack a military processing center.

Unfortunately, the Times chose to omit the fact the pair were radical Muslim converts with one of them actually idolizing Osama bin Laden (photo courtesy Agence France-Presse - Getty Images):

Federal law enforcement officials have arrested two men who they say planned to attack a military processing center here using machine guns and grenades.

The men — Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, also known as Joseph A. Davis, 33, of Seattle, and Walli Mujahidh, also known as Frederick Domingue Jr., 32, of Los Angeles — were arrested late Wednesday and charged with conspiracy to murder federal officers and employees, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and several firearms-related charges.

The processing center, called the Military Entrance Processing Station, is used to help process new enlistees. The building is in an industrial area south of downtown. The government said it also houses a federally run day care center.

That's right - a day care center, meaning that had they been successful, innocent children might have been slaughtered.

Yet the Times chose to omit from its report an important detail: these men were radical Muslim converts. One of them actually admired Osama bin Laden as the Seattle Times reported Thursday:

A radical Muslim, Abdul-Latif said he admired Osama bin Laden and was upset about alleged atrocities committed by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, according to a federal complaint.

"In his view, murdering American soldiers was justifiable," the complaint stated. "He wanted to die as a martyr in the attack." [...]

A dating profile that appears to belong to Abdul-Latif indicates he converted to Islam about nine years ago.

In the online profile, which corresponds to his name, height (5 feet 6 inches), age and race, Abdul-Latif said he was looking for a second wife, age 16 to 30, who "wouldn't mind sharing me with my current wife ... ."

"I am a very dedicated, strong, and intelligent Muslim," he wrote, noting that he wanted to "make a life from the most oppressive place on this earth 'America.' "

By the time he was allegedly planning his attack in Seattle, he was a religious radical, according to the government's complaint.

"Abdul-Latif said that if he was killed in the attack, his son would be proud that he fought the 'nonbelievers,' " the complaint said.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported more details Thursday evening:

During the recorded conversations, Abdul-Latif allegedly expounded on his desire to kill Americans and said he admired Osama bin Laden.

“Abdul-Latif said that ‘jihad’ in America should be a ‘physical jihad,’ and not just ‘media jihad,’ expressing his view that it was necessary to take action rather than just talk,” an FBI agent told the court. “Abdul-Latif referred to the 2009 Fort Hood massacre, when a single gunman killed 13 people.

“Abdul-Latif said that if one person could kill so many people, three attackers could kill many more.” [...]

Prosecutors contend Abdul-Latif also thought the attack would inspire others.

“Imagine how many young Muslims, if we’re successful, will try to hit these kids of centers,” he allegedly said. “Imagine how fearful America will be, and they’ll know they can’t push Muslims around.”

The PI also claimed, "In court documents, Abdul-Latif is described as a man who idolized Osama bin Laden."

Yet the Times report on these arrests ignored all these details. Instead, it portrayed the pair just as being anti-war:

The 38-page criminal complaint filed against the two suggested that they had not made final plans to carry out the alleged plot. They were frustrated, it said, by American war policies and discussed how to make an attack last as long as possible in order to get the most media attention for their actions.

So, Times author William Yardley read the 38-page report, which included details about the radical Muslim nature of the pair, but still opted to omit such facts from his article.

Is this really what passes for journalism at the Times today?

*****Update: To paraphrase a comment sent to me via Twitter, if these men were white and Christian, this incident would have been blamed on the Tea Party, Fox News, and Glenn Beck!