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Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 06/22/2012

Plea hearing scheduled in alleged plot to bomb U.S. Capitol

An Alexandria man accused of plotting to carry out a suicide bomb at the U.S. Capitol is scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon for a plea hearing, according to court records.

Amine El Khalifi, 30, of Alexandria, was arrested in February in an FBI sting operation, authorities said.

Khalifi was arrested a few blocks from the Capitol, carrying what he thought was a loaded automatic weapon and a vest ready to be detonated, authorities have said. Authorities said Khalifi thought the gun and vest were from al-Qaeda, but they were actually provided by undercover FBI operatives who had rendered them inoperable.

Khalifi was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against federal property.

Khalifi, who is from Morocco, came to the United States when he was 16-years-old and lived in Northern Virginia, officials said.

It was not clear at the time of his arrest how Khalifi came to the attention of federal authorities. Authorities said in court papers that Khalifi “sought to be associated with an armed extremist group.”

By  |  12:04 PM ET, 06/22/2012

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