In the weeks before Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh were arrested and charged with plotting a gun and grenade attack on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Abdul-Latif got three important phone calls from a man named Michael McCright.
The calls were, and are, important because Mr. McCright is currently in custody, charged with two separate violent felonies in which a potential hatred of the military is being pointed to as a motive.
According to charging documents filed in King County Superior Court, McCright was driving on I-5 on July 12 when he noticed two U.S. Marines driving in the HOV lane next to him.
The driver, Ssgt. Ryan Picklesimer, says that at one point he saw a blue Geo Metro speed up and drive behind him and look at the government-issued license plate on his vehicle. Next the Geo driver supposedly drove up next to the car and looked at the Marines--one of whom was in military attire.
"His eyes widened and he appeared to become angry," Picklesimer reported. After that, the driver allegedly tried to run the soldiers off the road. Next he allegedly drove in front of the Marines and slammed on his brakes, forcing the soldiers to "take evasive measures."
After the car finally drove away, the Marines wrote down its license-plate number and called police.
Later, McCright's photo was picked out of a montage by the soldiers as the man they saw driving the blue Geo Metro.
Despite denying that he even drove his car, police arrested McCright (while he was driving his car) and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon and vehicular assault.
While he was in custody, FBI agents apparently discovered that he'd called one of the JBLM terror suspects. Court documents say "the FBI is continuing to investigate Defendant McCright for possible connections to domestic terrorism."
McCright is a two-strikes felon with a long rap sheet. If he's convicted of either of the crimes he's charged with, he could go to prison for the rest of his life.
On his somewhat-dated MySpace page, McCright goes by "MIKHAIL JIHAD."
He also writes this plea for pen pals:
What's really crackin? Asalaamu Alaykum to all the Muslim around the world! I am currently in seek on penpals from all over the world, both local and internationl. I am also in seek of a woman for a friendsship but ultimately a relationship. I may be what you have been looking for so get at the kid! I am in seek of meeting people from Arabian peninsula as well as North and East Africa. I would also encourage non muslims to hit me up as well. I am currently incarcerated so it is a must that you write me a letter first because I don't have e-mail access at the time. I get releases next year so don't waste any time. My contact information is below, I hope to hear from you soon.
Michael McCright #831755
Washington State Penintentiary D/W-113
1313 N 13th Ave.
Walla Walla, Wa. 99362