Feds: Pentagon Terror Scare Man Was Building Bomb, Shot At Military Targets


Shootings Began In October

The military shootings began Oct. 17, 2010 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, when someone fired at least 10 bullets at the building. Two days later, six or seven shots were fired at the Pentagon, and bullets became embedded in the building's blast-proof windows. On Oct. 26, shots were fired at a Marine Corps recruiting center in Chantilly, Va.

The shooter struck a second time at the Marine Corps museum on Oct. 29, then hit a Coast Guard recruiting station in early November.

Melaku was arrested in the early-morning hours Friday in Arlington National Cemetery after he ran from a police officer on patrol. Police found three shell cartridges and baggies containing a substance that turned out to be ammonium nitrate in his backpack. The ammonium nitrate was determined to be inert.

Authorities feared he may have been targeting the Pentagon and the nearby Marine Iwo Jima Memorial. The resulting investigation shut down traffic around the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery for hours Friday morning, snarling morning rush hour traffic.

Melaku is still a Marine reservist, but as a result of last Friday's arrest paperwork has been filed for the Lance Corporal to be separated administratively from the service. His arrest brought to light that he was already wanted on a grand larceny charge for alleged car break-ins in Leesburg, Virginia. He is currently in custody in Loudoun County.

"Melaku was notified Tuesday at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center that he will be processed for administrative separation due to charges of serious offense," said the Marine Corps in a statement.

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