A Moroccan man who was arrested near the Capitol building in Washington allegedly wearing what he believed was a vest laden with explosives has been charged with attempting a suicide attack.
Prosecutors have told a federal court Amine El Khalifi had been supplied with the fake bomb by FBI agents posing as al-Qaeda members. He was arrested on his way to Capitol Hill on Friday, it is claimed.
Analysts say the case highlights the internal threat in the US.
Richard Clark, a former senior federal security official said: “even if al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan are destroyed, there is still a group of people in the United States who spontaneously can become terrorists without any real communications connection to al-Qaeda.”
Agents had reportedly been monitoring El Khalifi, an illegal immigrant, for more than a year. He has been in the US since 1999 and living undetected in Virginia. It is also claimed he had carried out several test runs before the attempted attack.
Moroccan charged with attempted Capitol Hill bombing