Incident Summary:

10/19/2010: Shots were fired at the Pentagon located in Arlington, Virginia, United States. Security reported hearing between five and seven shots fired at the building at 4:55 am. No one was injured in the attack but two windows were damaged. Yonathan Melaku, a Marine Corps reservist, was arrested on June 17, 2011, for an unrelated incident but was charged on June 21, 2011, for the Pentagon shooting and several other similar attacks in the area, including two shootings on the National Museum of the Marine Corps, and two at Marine Corps and Coast Guard recruiting stations. Sources report that Melaku was fascinated by Al-Qa ida, but did not claim to be a member of the organization.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity United States military
Specific Description The Pentagon
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Weapon Details
Sources state the weapon may have been a high velocity rifle; 9 mm shell casing were found on the assailant
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Sources provide different descriptions of the weapon used: one states it was likely a high velocity rifle, and another states it was a handgun. This is one of a series of attacks (see GTD ID 201010000001, 201010000002, 201010250026, 201011000001).
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Jihadi-inspired extremists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Alicia A. Caldwell, "Same gun shot at Pentagon, Marines' museum; 3rd shooting at recruiting office; FBI enters case," Associated Press, October 26, 2010.
Devlin Barrett, "FBI charges reservist in Pentagon shootings," The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2011.
Matthew Cella, "Suspect charged in shootings at military facilities," The Washington Times, June 24, 2011.