Terror suspect's father: 'I'm really sad that that's my oldest son'

Terror suspect's father: 'I'm really sad that that's my oldest son' »Play Video
Khalid Abdul-Latif, aka Joseph Anthony Davis
SEATTLE - A father's surprise is now his biggest heartache.

The boy he brought into the world as Joseph Anthony Davis is now accused of plotting an attack under his chosen name of three years, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif.

And up until KOMO 4 News tracked him down, Tony Davis had no idea what his son is accused of.

"I'm shocked," Davis said. "I'm really sad that that's my oldest son."

A video clip posted on YouTube shows the SeaTac man ranting against the U.S. military for its actions in Islamic countries.

"They're going to try to disintegrate the religion and try to degrade us," Abdul-Latif is seen saying. "Stand up with sword, tongue, and at the very least, hate in our heart. What is going on with the Muslim uma?"

Federal agents say it was a similar rage that drove Abdul-Latif to want to attack a Seattle military recruiting office.

The allegations are especially hard to take for Davis, as both he and Abdul-Latif served in the U.S. Navy.

"I'm an American, and I put my time in for my country. And now I hear terrorist things, and that's not really good," Tony Davis said. "I pray for him, you know, and hope this is all just a big misunderstanding."

Davis, who lives out of state, said he hadn't spoken to his son in about eight months. He expressed concern for his 3-year-old grandson, Khalid, whom he says his son loves very much.

With Abdul-Latif now behind bars, there's still shock at his SeaTac home. Khalid hasn't been able to eat or sleep, according to the boy's mother.

"He's saying, 'Daddy. Daddy,"' said Abdul-Latif's wife, Binta Moussa-Davis. "I said, "Sorry, brother. Sorry, son. Sorry, no more dad for the rest of your life.'"

Moussa-Davis said she and her husband hoped to have more children in the near future. She spent part of Friday seeking help from their mosque in SeaTac, now that her husband, who supported her, faces possible life behind bars.

From Joseph Davis to Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif

Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif was born in San Diego and graduated from Hoover High School there in 1996, said Jack Brandais, a spokesman for San Diego Unified School District.

His parents divorced when he was a teen, according to an interview he gave for a psychological evaluation before his 2002 conviction for robbing a convenience store in Bremerton, Wash.

Abdul-Latif reported having "a lot of abandonment" growing up, the report said. He was raised by his mother until he was 12, when he moved in with his father, who was absent for long periods of time "and neglected to provide enough food and other essentials." He repeated fifth grade.

Abdul-Latif graduated high school after earning Cs and Ds, the evaluation said. His employment history included light industrial work and parts receiving and shipping. He did two stints in the Job Corps from 1997 to 1999, studying culinary arts and commercial painting.

He acknowledged a history of abusing marijuana and of "huffing" gasoline when he was 13 or 14, and said he tried to kill himself in 2001 by deliberately overdosing on seizure medication.

So how did Joseph Anthony Davis become accused terrorist Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif? It started with his conversion to Islam in Washington state's prison system.

Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh, aka Frederick Domingue, Jr., 32, of Los Angeles, are both charged in federal court Thursday with terrorism and conspiracy to attack the Military Entrance Processing Station in Seattle.

The two planned to fire machine guns and toss grenades into the facility on a day and time when it would cause maximum casualties, according to court documents filed in the case.

The plan was hatched after Abdul-Latif spent two years in state prisons at Walla Walla and at Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen, authorities say.

But if the initial seeds of the alleged terror plot against Seattle's military recruiting station were sewn back then - state prison authorities say - they've had little reason to track that.

Records show Abdul-Latif spent the first year of his prison sentence in 2002 inside the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla - one of the state's most secure prisons.

According to the state Department of Corrections, that's where he assaulted a non-uniformed kitchen supervisor - and ended up in maximum security.

It's also where some of the state's most hardened gang members are sent. As one guard says, "When you start working up here you have to stay on your toes all of the time."

It was either at Walla Walla or later at Stafford Creek where Abdul-Latif converted to Islam.

"It's an ideal environment to recruit people into extremist thinking," says former FBI agent and ABC News terrorism consultant Brad Garrett.

In fact, experts say radicalization of inmates is a huge problem in our prisons - and most of the inmates will one day be released.

Because of that, Garrett believes prisons need to be mined for information.

"Prisons are a vital component of feeding that intelligence trough, and it is something that we just can't overlook," says Garrett.

State Deputy Prison Director Dan Pacholke says there were no red flags about Adbul-Latif's behavior or his conversion to Islam.

"So much of what we do is track negative behavior," says Pacholke.

He says prisons act on specific violent behavior or threats - not simply participation in a specific religious faith.

"If we're relayed intelligence from different groups that would indicate there's a problem with a certain group or a certain individual then we can pay more attention to it," he explains.

But he says the Corrections Department hasn't seen any prison-grown concerns related to Islam or any other faith-based group.