On Friday, authorities arrested a man in an attempted suicide attack on the U.S. Capitol. The attempt marks at least the 45th publicly known attempted terrorist attack against the United States since 9/11 and is the sixth such attack targeting Washington, D.C.
This latest attempted attack serves as yet another reminder of the importance of maintaining strong counterterrorism tools. Terrorists continue to seek to harm the U.S. The nation must not become complacent.
Attempted Suicide Attack
Amine El Khalifi, a 29-year-old Moroccan man present in the U.S. illegally, was arrested on Friday on his way to the U.S. Capitol. El Khalifi was carrying an automatic weapon and a suicide vest laced with what he believed to be explosives.
A statement by Capitol Police indicates the “arrest was the culmination of a lengthy and extensive operation during which the individual was closely and carefully monitored.” Sources indicate that El Khalifi has been under investigation for over a year.
Undercover FBI agents, whom El Khalifi believed to be al-Qaeda operatives, provided him with what he believed to be explosives and a gun to carry out his attack. The public, however, was never in danger as the FBI agents had rendered the weapons inoperable. El Khalifi allegedly discussed a number of targets—including military installations, U.S. Army generals, a restaurant, and synagogues—before settling on the U.S. Capitol.
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