The federal criminal complaint against the suspect identifies him as Amine El Khalifi,Khalifi had reportedly set off explosives in a remote quarry in West Virginia while accompanied undercover agents as part a test before carrying out his attack.
He was nabbed following a lengthy investigation by the FBI, initiated after he allegedly expressed interest in conducting an attack. Court documents say he came onto the radar screen in early December after he told an undercover agent about an earlier plan to bomb a northern Virginia building.
Khalifi was charged Friday in U.S. District Court in northern Virginia with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
The suspect allegedly weighed hitting various targets ranging from a military installation to synagogues to a Washington restaurant before settling on the Capitol.
The man thought undercover FBI agents assisting him in his plot were associates of Al Qaeda.He purchased bomb materials including jackets, nails and glue in preparation for an attack
When he was arrested Friday in Washington, he was carrying with him a vest that he had been led to believe was packed with explosives, but the material inside was not actually dangerous,
A short time earlier, Khalifi had been praying at a mosque in the Washington area. His destination was Capitol Hill.
The public was never in danger, as he had been under constant surveillance for some time, officials said. The FBI provided the suspect with a disabled gun during their ongoing operation
The U.S. Capitol Police, in a statement that confirmed the arrest but provided few details, said the suspect had been "closely and carefully monitored."
A senior source involved with law enforcement at the Capitol also told Fox News the investigation was "all very controlled." The source said the U.S. Capitol Police was involved with the FBI and other agencies in tracking the suspect "not more than a year."
Khalifi was been staying in the country illegally after overstaying a tourist visa that he entered the USA on in 1999. While living in northern Virginia, the Moroccan had a run-ins with his Arlington landlord who had called local police.
Frank Dynda said Friday that a woman who leased an apartment in his Arlington building apparently married Amine El Khalifi and then moved out. He says when Dynda told El Khalifi to leave, he said he had a right to stay and threatened to beat Dynda up.Agents from FBI counterterrorism task force and Arlington County police officers searched a residence in Douglas Park, VA in relation to Khalidi's arrest.
Dynda says he thought El Khalifi was making bombs, but police told him to leave the man alone. Dynda had El Khalifi evicted in 2010.