Man accused in plot to blow up U.S. Capitol pleads guilty
June 22nd, 2012
11:26 AM ET

Man accused in plot to blow up U.S. Capitol pleads guilty

By Carol Cratty

A Moroccan man accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. Capitol pleaded guilty Friday afternoon to a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against government property.

In the plea agreement, Amine El Khalifi, 29, agreed to a prison sentence with a maximum of 25 to 30 years. If he had been convicted in a trial, he could have been sentenced to life behind bars.

U.S. District Judge James Cacheris set a sentencing date of September 14.

El Khalifi came to the courtroom wearing a jail jumpsuit with the word "prisoner" stenciled on the back. He was not in restraints.

He appeared relaxed and politely answered the judge when asked to confirm his guilty plea and other questions. The judge accepted the plea and found him guilty.

El Khalifi was arrested February 17 as the result of an FBI sting operation.

According to a statement of facts signed by El Khalifi, he accepted what he thought was a suicide vest containing explosives and a MAC-10 automatic gun. He put on the vest and was quickly taken into custody as he attempted to leave a parking garage and walk toward the Capitol building.

"Unbeknownst to El Khalifi, both the weapon and the bomb had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement," according to court documents. El Khalifi told an undercover FBI agent and another man assisting law enforcement agents that he intended to use the MAC-10 to "shoot people before detonating the bomb."

El Khalifi thought he was working with al Qaeda, but a man referred to in court documents as "Yusuf" was an undercover agent. U.S. officials said El Khalifi had been closely monitored, and the public was never in danger. The U.S. officials also said he was not connected to terrorists and was working alone.

According to the statement of facts, El Khalifi changed his mind about what to target and at various points had considered hitting a restaurant, a military installation and a synagogue. He finally decided to try to blow himself up in the Capitol, according to the court document, and said "he would be happy killing 30 people."

El Khalifi admitted performing surveillance at the Capitol and asking an associate named Hussien who was secretly assisting law enforcement to remotely detonate the bomb if El Khalifi ran into problems with security officers.

"He absolutely was the real deal," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said after the court hearing. MacBride said El Khalifi chose his targets and weapons, thought he was a working with al Qaeda and wanted to carry out "the first-ever suicide attack in the U.S."

FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bryan Paarmann said El Khalifi is another yet another homegrown extremist, although he did not offer a theory on why he became radicalized. According to Paarmann, El Khalifi "had the intent, the disposition and the desire" to commit acts of violence.

El Khalifi came to the United States in June 1999 on a B2 visa, which allows visitors for tourism and medical treatment. But U.S. officials said El Khalifi's visa expired the same year, and he has been in the country illegally ever since. A condition of El Khalifi's plea agreement is that he will be deported to Morocco after he serves his prison sentence.

Post by:
Filed under: Congress • Living With Terror • Terrorism
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Cortez Duskin

    Good ¡V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Excellent task..

    March 4, 2021 at 9:58 am | Reply
  2. CharlieSeattle

    Obama said, "He looks like the son I wish I had. I will give him a green card and pardon."

    June 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
    • Alex Ingram

      Twenty five years for plotting to kill 30 innocent people, seems too light. I think suicide bombers should get the death penalty. But with the exception that it be 1)State Televised, and 2) Slow and painful. Apparently a quick and instant death is not a deterrent to committing the crime. Apparently a quick and instant death is not a deterrent to committing the crime. So lets up the stakes. A slow agony of death to you and your loved ones if we ever catch you wearing a bomb, fake or not.

      June 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  3. Obelisk ©™

    We shoud import a few of these Aghoris from India to clean up the immigrants under the Patriot Law...perhaps???

    The Aghori or Aghouri is a Hindu cult in India that is considered to have split off from the Kapalika order in the fourteenth century AD. They have cannibalistic rituals. The streets of northern Indian cities are littered with followers of this cult carrying a kapala, which is a cup made from a skull! These bizarre people will eat anything from rotten food to animal faeces. In order to achieve the highest citadel of enlightenment, the Aghori will perform horrendously crude rituals. The finality of their rituals is attained from eating the decaying flesh of a human.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  4. Obelisk ©™

    New, More Dangerous Hindu Extremist Groups Emerge in India

    Christians concerned as rightwing factions splinter to form militant outfits.
    PUNE, India, October 29 (CDN) — After more than a decade of severe persecution, India’s Christian minority is growing increasingly concerned over the mushrooming of newer and deadlier Hindu extremist groups.

    Gone are the days when Christians had to watch out only for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) and its youth wing, Bajrang Dal, which are closely linked with the most influential Hindu extremist umbrella organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). With voter support faltering for the RSS’s political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), moderate and extremist sections within the Hindu nationalist movement are blaming each other, and militant splinter groups have emerged.

    Claiming to be breakaway factions of the RSS, new groups with even more extreme ideology are surfacing. The Abhinav Bharat (Pride of India), the Rashtriya Jagran Manch (National Revival Forum), the Sri Ram Sene (Army of god Rama), the Hindu Dharam Sena (Army for Hindu Religion) and the Sanatan Sanstha (Eternal Organization) have launched numerous violent attacks on Christian and Muslim minorities.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
  5. Obammysucks


    June 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • Mark L

      Nah....Hundies !!!!!

      June 25, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  6. leonidas

    “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: ‘Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.’ I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.

    That, is terrorism

    June 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • jeff


      June 24, 2012 at 3:11 am | Reply
    • frank

      words are not terrorism. shoe bombs, underwear bombs, well poisoning, acid throwing, car bombs, cafe bombs, murder of french children, flying planes into buildings, rockets launched into civilian areas, attempting to blow up trains, london subways, the US capitol, synagouges and community centers are terrorism. Your weak and pathetic attempt to describe words as terrorism is absurd. You and Jeff must be smoking the same hookah and reading the same PLO crap posted on the local islamic center bulletin board

      June 24, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
  7. joe

    In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Arab forces were overwhelming Israeli forces and Prime Minister Golda Meir authorized a nuclear alert and ordered 13 atomic bombs be readied for use by missilesand aircraft. The Israeli Ambassador warned President Nixon of “very serious conclusions" if the United States did not airlift of supplies. Nixon complied. This is seen as the first threat of the use of the Samson Option.

    That, is terrorism....

    June 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • melvinslizard


      June 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • Thor


        June 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
      • leonidas


        June 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  8. lance

    why are all these muslems allowed in this country in the first place ? save the homeland security budget for screening arabs and middle easter trash that are refugeeing the usa under obama's immigration nightmare.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • David

      good point here!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
    • leonidas


      June 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • Close Borders Now

      He wasn't allowed in. He was an illegal alien residing in Virginia over ten years. We have no idea who resides amongst us, and if you try to determine it, Attorney General Holder will sue you. How much you want to bet he was voting democrat, receiving food stamps, in-state tuition, and free medical care?

      June 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
      • Ameritalib

        The founding fathers of this stinking country were thugs and criminals. the creation of this country is illegal

        June 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Ameritalib

      Its not ur land. u stole it from the natives, America will go down hard sooner or later, i love to c a nuke fall on my head while iam getting fresh young virgin american. double the pleasure

      June 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Reply
      • Banana Juice

        Ameritalib, no more virgins available, they have all been tested with STD.

        June 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Obelisk ©™

      The Sri Ram Sene was one of the most active groups in India that launched a series of attacks on Christians and their property in and around Mangalore city in the southern state of Karnataka in August-September 2008, according to a report, “The Ugly Face of Sangh Parivar,” published by the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), in March 2009. In Jabalpur city in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, suspected extremists from the Abhinav Bharat attacked the Rhema Gospel Church on Sept. 28, according to the Global Council of Indian Christians. They had earlier attacked Pastor Sam Oommen and his family in the same city.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
  9. Ameritalib

    19 hijackers are people who are still living in the middleeast. US is feeding this nation of drunkers with more lies. go to your happy hour find your wife and your true daddy

    June 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • Obammysucks

      Or ... Nuke Mecca For The Win

      June 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
      • Ameritalib

        Say hi to ur ugly filthy mama for me, she smells like what she eat. pigs

        June 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Banana Juice

      Ameritalib, keep quiet I think you are my second son.
      ask your mother.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  10. Thor

    More state sponsored false flags.


    June 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • So What's Your Solution Idiot

      Show us the proof.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • Ameritalib

        Ask that dead jew "HITLER" he knew the illness from within

        June 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
      • joe

        Show me proof to the contrary idiot.

        Israel is attempting to create enough animosity to justify more apartheid and murder.

        June 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Ameritalib

      Scare tactic. US government is doing it over and over. SEP 11"national holiday" was not enough? Go buy stockpiles of canned food and hide in you chicken farm,cowards

      June 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  11. Phunnie boy

    Whether he confesses or not, this man's future isn't worth a plumb nickle!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Ameritalib

      Go smoke more meth and watch south park

      June 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
      • David

        youre an idiot in my face buster

        June 22, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  12. VoteGaryJohnson

    So a man who was recruited, trained, and coerced by our own Gov in the States is being sentenced to most likely life in prison. This all to send a message to the American people: individuals not connected to any terrorist group are going to start being arrested. They were right though: the public was never in any danger. The danger is concocted by your leaders, to make you feel insecure and ergo more likely to accept sweeping restrictions to what were once called rights.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • So What's Your Solution Idiot

      So you think he should be let go then?

      June 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • Ameritalib

      Americans are free, mainly the women, most are free some are cheap. cheaper than a 6 pack. Enjoy the filthy meat,porky

      June 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  13. 2012marandalaw

    Reblogged this on Marinchek-Marn and commented:

    June 22, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply

Leave a Reply to So What's Your Solution Idiot


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.