Moroccan man arrested in connection with Washington D.C. terrorist bombing plot
Suspect provided with phony explosives provided by FBI agents
The latest terrorist plot on U.S. soil didn't get very far. Twenty-nine-year old Amine el-Khalifi was arrested in Washington D.C. as he approached the Capitol building. He posed absolutely no threat to anyone's safety whatsoever as he had been provided with phony explosives from FBI agents posing as al-Qaeda members.
Amine el-Khalifi made a brief appearance in a federal court in Virginia on Friday, wearing a green shirt and black pants and holding his arms together behind his back. A bail hearing is set for Wednesday.
"Explosives the suspect allegedly sought to use in connection with the plot had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public," the statement said.
According to court papers, Khalifi arrived near the Capitol building in a van with two undercover operatives and walked toward the building.
U.S. Justice Department Spokesman Dean Boyd said the arrest capped an undercover operation in which the suspect had been closely monitored by law enforcement authorities.
Khalifi made a brief appearance in a federal court in Virginia on Friday, wearing a green shirt and black pants and holding his arms together behind his back. A bail hearing for Wednesday.
A criminal complaint charges him with knowingly and unlawfully attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against property that is owned and used by the United States. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
FBI agents in blue jackets raided a home in Virginia after the arrest. A police car blocked the entrance. His place of residence has not yet been revealed.
A counterterrorism official told the Associated Press that Khalifi expressed an interest in killing at least 30 people and had considered several other targets, including a synagogue, before settling on the Capitol.
Khalifi had come to the United States as a 16 year old and is not currently believed to be associated with al-Qaeda. He did, however, believe that he was working with al-Qaeda operatives in the current plot, an affidavit submitted to the court said.
Khalifi had told acquaintances in January 2011 that he thought that the "war on terrorism'' was a "war on Muslims" and that they needed to be ready for war.
After Khalifi decided on the U.S. Capitol as his target, he asked his associates for more explosives, to be detonated remotely via a cell phone.
The investigation into Khalifi had been ongoing for more than a year.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Terrorist, terrorism, FBI, al-Qaeda, Washington D.C.
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