In 2002, Joseph Anthony Davis held up a 7-Eleven with two plastic toy guns. Nine years later, reports the Seattle Times, he sat in his Seattle-area apartment to plan a terrorist attack with machine guns and grenades against a military recruiting station. Federal officials last week arrested Davis, now known as Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, as they again unraveled an alleged plot developed not in some distant al-Qaida haven but by what appear to be homegrown radicals embracing a militant Islamic doctrine. Such individuals have been involved in many recent federal Islamic terrorism cases. Experts caution that the U.S. faces heightened risk for such plots, which are fueled by a combustible mix that includes graphic images of civilians killed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and, perhaps most important, the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden.
“With martyrdom comes a strong desire to retaliate. It adds another layer of motivation,” said David Cid of the Oklahoma-based Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. “Everybody has to be pretty much on their toes for the foreseeable future.” Says David Gomez of the FBI in Seattle: “Just with the number of cases we’ve had in the past six months, I’m going to be asking for a 10 to 20 percent increase in our current (budget) numbers.”