- Suspect Amine El Khalifi is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction
- The immigrant from Morocco is in the United States illegally
- The explosives and firearm he allegedly sought had been rendered inoperable
A 29-year-old Moroccan man accused of attempting to bomb the U.S. Capitol building is scheduled to be at a court hearing Wednesday in Virginia.
Amine El Khalifi was arrested last week after allegedly trying to attempt the suicide attack, the Justice Department said.
On Friday, the suspect went to a parking garage near the Capitol and received what he thought was a vest with explosives and a firearm, both of which had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement, authorities said. He was arrested before leaving the garage.
El Khalifi was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against government property. Authorities say the public was never in any danger.
The suspect, an immigrant from Morocco, is in the United States illegally. He had been closely monitored as part of a lengthy undercover operation, police said, adding that U.S. Capitol Police had been "intimately" involved in the investigation.
El Khalifi entered the United States in June 1999 on a B2 visa -- which allows trips for pleasure, tourism or medical treatment, according to an FBI affidavit. His visa expired that same year and he has been living in the United States illegally ever since.
In January 2011, a confidential source reported to the FBI that El Khalifi met with other individuals at a residence in Arlington, Virginia. A person there produced what appeared to be weapons and El Khalifi "expressed agreement with a statement by this individual that the 'war on terrorism' was a 'war on Muslim,' and said that the group needed to be ready for war," the affidavit read.
At another point, El Khalifi allegedly said he would "be happy killing 30 people," it said.
El Khalifi thought he had met al Qaeda members who would assist him, but in fact he was dealing with undercover FBI agents, said the second source.
The source declined to say whether the FBI has audio or video recordings of the suspect talking to undercover agents about his plans.