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Moroccan man planning to bomb US Capitol held following FBI sting operation

Washington, Sat, 18 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 18 (ANI): A 29-year-old Moroccan man has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as he sought to carry out a suicide bomb attack on the US Capitol.


The FBI conducted an undercover operation as part of a longstanding terrorism probe of the suspect identified as Amine El Khalifi.


According to court documents, Khalifi came onto the radar screen in early December after he told an undercover agent about an earlier plan to bomb a northern Virginia building, Fox News reports.


Khalifi was charged Friday in US District Court in northern Virginia with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.


According to the report, Khalifi allegedly weighed hitting various targets ranging from a military installation to synagogues to a Washington restaurant before settling on the Capitol.


The man thought undercover FBI agents assisting him in his plot were associates of Al Qaeda. He purchased bomb materials including jackets, nails and glue in preparation for an attack. He even conducted a test explosives demonstration in a quarry.


According to the report, when he was arrested he was carrying with him a vest, which he believed was filled with explosives, but that actually contained harmless material.


A senior source involved with law enforcement at the Capitol said that the investigation was "all very controlled."


The source said the US Capitol Police was involved with the FBI and other agencies in tracking the suspect 'not more than a year.' (ANI)


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