US Capitol plot suspect mulled synagogue attack

| February 18, 2012

WASHINGTON – A Moroccan man who allegedly wanted to conduct a suicide bombing attack on the US Capitol had considered attacking a synagogue, according to authorities.

Amine El Khalifi, 29, was arrested near the US Capitol on Friday wearing a vest he believed was full of al Qaida-supplied explosives and charged in an attempted suicide bombing of Congress, the Justice Department said.

In earlier conversations with undercover operatives, El Khalifi said he had also considered as targets a federal building in Alexandria, Virginia, a restaurant and a synagogue.

Officials close to law enforcement told JTA that Khalifi's plans were never close to being realized, and that there is no imminent danger to any Jewish target.

El Khalifi, an illegal immigrant who lives in Alexandria, was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against property owned and used by the United States, intending to detonate a bomb and to shoot people, the department said.

He was arrested by the FBI and the US Capitol Police in a parking garage just a few blocks from the Capitol. The object of a lengthy undercover FBI investigation, El Khalifi later appeared in federal court in Virginia and faces up to life in prison if convicted.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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