Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Chilling new video emerges as evidence in a series of targeted attacks on military buildings. A former Marine reservist from Baltimore is behind them all.
Meghan McCorkell has disturbing new insight into the shootings.
Yonathan Melaku will spend 25 years behind bars after pleading guilty to the 2010 shootings. Now, we’re getting a frightening look inside his shooting spree.
In a chilling video, Melaku chants in Arabic as he drives along I-95.
“That’s the military building,” he said in the video. “That’s the building I’m going to be targeting.”
Second later, he unleashes a hail of bullets aimed at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. After that, he says “Mission Accomplished.”
But Thursday, in front of a judge, one of the few words Melaku uttered was “guilty.” Melaku admitted to firing shots at the museum, the Pentagon and two Northern Virginia Marine recruiting centers in October and November of 2010.
No one was hurt in any of the attacks.
“Today’s plea also demonstrates that violent homegrown extremism is present in our community,” said Jacqueline Maguire, an FBI Special Agent.
Melaku was arrested this summer at Arlington National Cemetery where he says he planned to desecrate graves of fallen soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Inside his backpack was spray paint, shell casings and ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in explosives.
While searching Melaku’s home, FBI agents made another scary discovery.
“The FBI seized a list that was titled ‘Timer’,” Dana Boente, the assistant U.S. attorney, said. “On this list, he had nine components for a detonator or a trigger, for an explosive device.”
Melaku was once a Marine reservist based out of the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Baltimore.
While this tape provides insight on how Melaku staged his attacks, investigators say they still don’t know why he did it.
Melaku had joined the Marine Reserves in 2007, but he was never deployed overseas.
U.S. officials say Melaku has no ties to any terror organizations. He will receive a mental health evaluation before he is formally sentenced in April.