Va. man in Capitol bomb plot sentenced to 30 years

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“We cannot wait until there are real, dead victims to enforce our laws,” Mr. Kromberg said.

When the undercover agents first approached el-Khalifi, his initial idea was to attack an office building in Alexandria. He later suggested attacking a synagogue, a busy Washington restaurant and an Army general’s home before eventually volunteering to attack the Capitol.

According to court papers, El-Khalifi detonated a test bomb at a West Virginia quarry and expressed disappointment that the explosion was not big enough. On Feb. 17, the day of the planned attack, El-Khalifi went so far as to don what he thought was a bomb-laden vest packed with nails, and carried the inoperable automatic weapon that he would use to shoot past any guards who got in his way.

El-Khalifi told the agents he would be happy if the attack killed 30 people.

El-Khalifi will be deported to Morocco after serving his sentence.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil MacBride, whose office prosecuted the case, said Friday that “El-Khalifi sought to bring down the U.S. Capitol, one of our nation’s iconic symbols. Since 9/11, our mission has been to find terrorists intent on attacking the United States before they act.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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