US judge orders Moroccan held for US Capitol plot

By REUTERS
February 22, 2012 21:51

ALEXANDRIA - A US judge on Wednesday ordered a Moroccan man to be held on charges that he planned a suicide bombing attack against the US Congress, believing he was working with al-Qaida militants when in fact his contacts were undercover agents.

Amine El Khalifi, 29 and an illegal immigrant, was arrested last week and charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against US government property, intending to detonate a bomb and to shoot people.

He was arrested just blocks from the US Capitol and had been the subject of a lengthy undercover investigation by the FBI who said the public was never in danger because he was monitored and only given weapons that were inoperable.

El Khalifi popped up on law enforcement authorities' radar in January 2011 when a confidential source told authorities that he met with others in Virginia and agreed with statements that the group needed to be ready for war, according to court documents.


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