Seattle man accused of plotting attack on federal building

Vietnam-era Army vet was angry he was denied veterans benefits.

A Washington state man who claimed to be a former member of U.S. Special Forces is facing charges stemming from alleged threats he made to blow up a Department of Veterans Affairs office.

Charles M. Whitaker, 53, was arrested Monday at his Seattle home after former roommates told the Federal Protective Service he had threatened to blow up the city's VA office because he had been denied benefits.

FPS officers found no evidence that Whitaker had been a Special Forces member, according to spokeswoman Virginia Kice. FPS provides security for all federally owned and leased facilities nationwide. It is a part of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau in the Homeland Security Department.

A search of the home Whitaker shared with roommates turned up papers showing he served as a photography technician in the Army from 1972 to 1974. Investigators also found military field manuals on making bombs and booby traps. In a nearby storage locker rented to Whitaker, agents found an inert hand grenade; two semiautomatic pistols--one 9 mm and one .22 caliber--and 200 rounds of ammunition.

Whitaker is expected to face state charges of making threats to bomb or injure property, according to an ICE press release. FPS and the U.S. Attorney's Office are considering whether to bring federal charges against Whitaker, who is currently being held in the King County Jail.

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