UPDATE: Suspected Bomber Plotted at Alexandria Hotel on Valentine's Day
Amine El Khalifi, 29, taken into federal custody.
6 p.m. update — Amine El Khalifi, 29, of Alexandria, the suspect in custody for allegedly plotting to detonate a bomb at the U.S. Capitol, did some last-minute planning for the proposed attack at an Alexandria hotel on Valentine's Day, according to an FBI affidavit released Friday afternoon. The affidavit does not identify the hotel.
At the hotel, the alleged terrorist met with undercover police who he thought were his partners in crime. While at the hotel, he watched himself in a mirror as he practiced how he would detonate the bomb and hold off anyone at the Capitol using a gun, the affidavit noted. A gun he was practicing with at the time, a Mac-10, was not loaded.
El Khalifi in December told undercover police he wanted to target an Alexandria office building, according to the affidavit. The building contains offices occupied by the U.S. military. The suspect told undercover police that he was unsure about carrying out the plan though because the military only occupied part of the building.
The suspect also told undercover police that he wanted to target a synagogue or an Army general.
On or about Jan. 8, El Khalifi purchased two jackets and a cell phone "in and around" Alexandria, the FBI affidavit noted. He also purchased nails for a bomb at a hardware store in Alexandria, the affidavit said.
Police arrested El Khalifi Friday in a parking garage at the Capitol where he told undercover police he intended to shoot people before detonating a bomb, according to the affidavit. The gun and bomb were inoperable. He traveled to the Capitol from Northern Virginia.
The FBI searched a home in Alexandria Friday afternoon at 3800 Wyndham Circle in Alexandria, as Patch reported earlier. Federal authorities confirmed the home is related to the bombing plot.
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5 p.m. update — The FBI is also searching homes in Arlington County's Douglas Park community in connection to the U.S. Capitol plot, Clarendon Patch reports.
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3:40 p.m. update — The FBI confirmed to Patch that it is conducting a search warrant on Wyndham Circle in the West End of Alexandria.
Federal law enforcement said the search is related to the suspect apprehended while allegedly trying to carry out a suicide bombing on the U.S. Capitol.
Around 3 p.m., an Alexandria Police cruiser was parked outside 3800 Wyndham Circle. Television trucks had converged on the Pointe at Park Center apartments, a gated community just off Ford Avenue near Interstate 395.
An evidence marker was seen hanging inside an open closet attached to the balcony of a first-floor apartment unit.
The Huffington Post is reporting that Amine El Khalifi, 29, of Alexandria, was taken into custody with an inoperable gun and inert explosives.
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The FBI has arrested a man who was allegedly trying to carry out a suicide bombing on the U.S. Capitol, several media outlets are reporting.
CBS News reports that the suspect is a 29-year-old man in the United States illegally and living in Alexandria, according to officials.
The man had been seeking assistance in executing a terrorist attack against the United States. Officials were investigating him for months. FBI agents arrested him in his garage in Alexandria after providing him with what he believed was a suicide vest, according to CBS.
The Washington Post reports that a U.S. official said a man in his 30s and of Moroccan descent was picked up near the Labor Department on his way to the Capitol for what he thought would be a suicide attack. He was carrying with him a vest supposedly packed with explosives, but the material actually was not dangerous, officials said.