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Suspect in U.S. Capitol bomb sting expected in court

This artist rendering shows Amine El Khalifi before U.S. District Judge T. Rawles Jones Jr. in federal court in Alexandria, Va., Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. (AP/Dana Verkouteren)

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia: A Moroccan native charged with plotting to blow up a bomb inside the U.S. Capitol in a suicide operation is expected to make a second court appearance.

Twenty-nine-year-old Amine El Khalifi was arrested Friday following a yearlong FBI sting and charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities say El Khalifi discussed plans to attack a Virginia office building and a synagogue with an undercover operative he thought was a member of Al-Qaeda. Later, El Khalifi allegedly volunteered to wear a suicide vest and kill himself in a martyrdom operation at the Capitol.

Court documents say El Khalifi is in the U.S. illegally.

 

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