Marine Linked to DC-Area Military Shootings

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The Marine Corp reservist arrested last week after a Pentagon security scare is now being charged in a series of shootings at military buildings in Washington last year.

Yonathan Melaku, 22, was taken into custody early Friday after bomb-making materials were found in a backpack he was carrying. The arrest was made after police became alarmed by a suspicious car parked near the Pentagon. They later discovered the car belonged to Melaku.

Authorities also recovered a videotape from Melaku's bedroom that shows him firing shots out his car outside the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Last October, bullet holes were found at that museum, a vacant Marine recruiting station, and the Pentagon. No one was ever charged in the shootings.

Melaku was "not on our radar prior to Friday's events," said James McJunkin, the assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington field office.

Other suspicious items found after Melaku's arrest include plastic bags holding ammonium nitrate, a spiral notebook containing references to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, spent 9 mm shell casings.

A numbered list with the items "alkaline battery, battery connector for 9 volt, LED light, and epoxy or super glue" was also found. The materials are consistent with making a bomb.

The Marine Corps said this week it was in the process of trying to remove Melaku from the service because he was arrested several weeks ago on unrelated larceny charges.

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