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Malvo Describes Two-Step Plan
He said he met Muhammad in Antigua in May 2000, when he was a 15-year-old neglected by his parents. His mother, whom he described as "authoritarian," abandoned the teenager to move to Florida. He was also estranged from his father.
Malvo became Muhammad's surrogate son and grew fond of Muhammad's children.
Muhammad introduced Malvo to the Nation of Islam and spoke to him about race and socioeconomic disparities. "The white man is the devil," Malvo said, summing up Muhammad's thinking.
He said Muhammad helped him sneak into the United States in May 2001, where Malvo initially lived with his mother in Fort Myers, Fla. Muhammad had moved to Washington state with his three children. The pair spoke regularly on the phone, and one day, after a devastated Muhammad told Malvo he had lost custody of his children, Malvo decided to join him.
Under Muhammad's tutelage, Malvo began a strict diet that involved taking 72 vitamins and eating only one meal a day. Muhammad took Malvo to a shooting range, where he taught him to shoot a variety of weapons and trained him to sneak up on people, Malvo testified.
Malvo said Muhammad told him he intended to recover his children, who were taken from him after he kidnapped them for 18 months.
"No white man in a black robe is going to tell him when and where and why he can see his children," Malvo said, quoting Muhammad.
The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had a considerable impact on Muhammad.
"He said bloodshed begets bloodshed," Malvo said, summarizing Muhammad's reaction. "It's a process. America began this. Osama bin Laden didn't develop in a vacuum."
During summer 2002, Malvo said, Muhammad told him about the two-pronged scheme he had designed to terrorize the nation's capital. Phase one was the month of random shootings. The next stage, which was intended to heighten the terror, involved setting explosive devices -- which Muhammad told Malvo he had learned to use in the military -- to kill massive numbers of children in the Baltimore area, Malvo testified.
Malvo said he balked at the idea and suggested that they should simply recover Muhammad's children, who at the time were living with their mother in Clinton. Agonizing over the prospect of going forward with the plan, Malvo said, he locked himself in a bathroom shortly after Muhammad told him about the plan and played Russian roulette with a .22-caliber revolver.
"I loaded one round, spun it, put it to my head, fired," he said. After no bullets were fired, "I broke down and couldn't do it."