Muslim Marine Reservist Arrested in Connection to DC Military Building Shootings

Yonathan Melaku, 22, of Alexandria, Va. was for carrying suspected bomb supplies near the Pentagon.

Yonathan Melaku, 22, of Alexandria, Va. (MSNBC)

Melaku, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ethiopia, was detained Friday after he was spotted carrying a suspicious backpack near the Pentagon. Melaku also had a notebook with the words “al-Qaida” and “Taliban Rules” written inside.
FOX News reported, via Free Republic:

The case had apparently gone cold. But after several months of no progress, federal authorities have now zeroed in on a suspect in last year’s shootings at several military sites around the nation’s capital. Their suspect: the 22-year-old Marine reservist arrested Friday after causing a terror scare near the Pentagon.

Ballistics obtained at the suspect’s home have been linked to evidence found at the scenes of the 2010 shootings, including the Marine Corps Museum in Triangle, Va., a vacant Marine recruiting station in Chantilly, Va., and the Pentagon itself, Fox News has learned.

Authorities are now trying to track down a vehicle once owned by the suspect, Yonathan Melaku of Alexandria, Va., who has since sold the vehicle.

Melaku was arrested early Friday morning at Arlington National Cemetery when the site was closed. He was carrying a backpack with what authorities initially thought might be explosives, and they found a notebook containing words and phrases such as “Taliban,” “Al Qaeda,” “defeated coalition forces,” and “mujahedeen.” The discoveries caused “concerns about the public’s safety,” the FBI said at the time, and shut down major highways for much of Friday.

In the hours after Melaku’s arrest Friday, FBI agents swarmed his home in Alexandria and interviewed neighbors.

Shots were fired at and hit the Pentagon in October.

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