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Originally published June 24, 2011 at 10:07 PM | Page modified June 24, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Suspect's life marked by mental illness, acquaintance says

A Los Angeles man implicated in an alleged plot to slaughter people at a military recruiting station in Seattle suffers from severe mental illness and has since his birth, according to a woman who has known Walli Mujahidh for about 10 years.

Seattle Times staff reporter

quotes It is unfortunate that Mr. Mujahidh was unable to receive successful treatment. The... Read more
quotes Yes, it sounds as if Mr. Domingue, aka Mr. Mujahindh, had a tough life, coming up... Read more
quotes Violence and mental illness has been studied extensively and people who have mental... Read more

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A Los Angeles man implicated in an alleged plot to slaughter people at a military recruiting station in Seattle suffers from severe mental illness and has since his birth, according to a woman who has known Walli Mujahidh for about 10 years.

"He wasn't violent," Dorothy Howard said of Mujahidh, whom she knew as Frederick Domingue Jr., before he converted to Islam several years ago in Seattle. But "He had a mouth, sure, but as far as hurting people, that was not Fred."

Howard who lives in Southern California, said her daughter befriended Mujahidh when he was in his early 20s and living in Pomona, Calif.

Mujahidh, now 32, took multiple medications daily for his illness, said Howard, who has stayed in touch with him.

"If he didn't take his medications, he would really be" out of sorts, she said. "Sometimes he would call me and say, 'Mrs. Howard, I really need my medications. Can you take me to the clinic?' Sometimes they would keep him three or four days" just to stabilize him.

According to a 38-page federal complaint, Mujahidh arrived in Seattle by bus on Tuesday from Los Angeles to participate in what the government described as a plan to use automatic weapons and grenades to kill as many people as possible at the military recruit processing center in South Seattle.

An informant tipped off Seattle police, who, with the FBI, tape-recorded Mujahidh and Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif as they plotted the assault.

Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif, also known as Joseph Anthony Davis, 33, of SeaTac, were arrested Wednesday. Abdul-Latif is described in the charging papers as the driving force behind the alleged plan.

Howard said she had no doubt that if Mujahidh did anything, it was because he was led into it.

"Because of his mental condition," she said, "you could easily take advantage of him."

Mujahidh was given up at birth by his parents, and he bounced around foster homes as a child, Howard said. He tried to live on his own as an adult in Los Angeles and Pomona, but he could never make a go of it.

"He couldn't hold a job," she said.

Mujahidh struggled with drug addiction as early as 2002, according to court records in Riverside County, Calif.

He was arrested twice for shoplifting in 2002, once from a Maxi Foods and once from a $10 Shoe Store, records show.

The second incident put him in jail for more than a year and landed him in a substance-abuse treatment center in nearby San Bernardino.

He was ordered to live at the Salvation Army when he completed treatment, according to records.

In October 2004, he was charged with domestic violence. Details of the case were not available Friday, but the records that were available noted the case involved a damaged telephone/power line and accusations of interfering with a victim/witness.

He pleaded guilty, was ordered to enroll in a domestic-violence program and stay away from the victim, whom The Seattle Times is not naming. He also was ordered to complete Salvation Army training, records show.

Howard said Mujahidh later followed a woman to Seattle and married her.

Mujahidh's estranged wife told The Times she separated from him in 2007 and was in the process of divorce.

The woman, who lives in the Seattle area, said the couple married in 2007 after they met in Riverside, Calif. In July of the same year, she filed a petition in King County Superior Court seeking a protection order against Mujahidh. The petition alleged Mujahidh had "kicked down my apartment door and destroyed everything that was in the apartment." She alleged he twice threatened to kill her and would fly into rages, although he never hit her.

Howard said Mujahidh left Seattle a few years ago and had been living back in L.A.

Howard said Mujahidh also has a child in California and pays child support.

"He loves that baby," Howard said. "This saddens me because I know him to be a good person."

Seattle Times news researchers Gene Balk, David Turim

and Miyoko Wolf contributed

to this story.

Susan Kelleher: 206-464-2508 or skelleher@seattletimes.com

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