Man Arrested Near Capitol in FBI Sting

3:46 AM, Feb 18, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Officials say a 29-year-old Moroccan man who believed he was working with al-Qaida was arrested near the U.S. Capitol as he was planning to detonate what he thought was a suicide vest. The vest had been given to him by undercover operatives.

Amine El Khalifi of Alexandria, Va., was taken into custody with a gun that didn't work and inert explosives, according to a counterterrorism official. He arrived near the Capitol in a van with the two undercover operatives, and walked toward the building. He was arrested before he left the parking garage.

El Khalifi made a brief appearance in federal court in Alexandria. A judge set 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.

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