Washington bomb plot foiled by FBI posing as al-Qa'ida

 

A terror suspect was arrested in Washington DC yesterday as he prepared to launch what he thought would be a lethal suicide attack on the US Congress.

The man, said to be from Morocco, was detained as he made his way to carry out the attack, wearing a concealed vest packed with what he believed were explosives.

The materials were in fact inert and had been supplied to him by FBI agents pretending to be al-Qa'ida members. Officials did not indicate that the terror network was involved, however, meaning he may have been acting alone.

The FBI stressed that because of its investigation no one on Capitol Hill had been in danger of physical harm, but the mere fact that such a plot existed, and that it might have been carried out by a would-be radical Islamist, will be a sobering reminder that the terror risk on US soil remains even after the death of Osama bin Laden.

"We can confirm that there has been an arrest of a suspect in Washington DC in connection with a terrorism investigation," said Peter Carr, a spokesman for prosecutors in nearby Virginia, where the FBI investigation and surveillance operation were based. "The arrest was the culmination of an undercover operation, during which the suspect was closely monitored by law enforcement. Explosives the suspect allegedly sought to use in connection with the plot [were] rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public."

Many details of the foiled plot were still not available last night. But it appeared that the man entered the US from Morocco with a family member and came to the attention of anti-terror agents soon afterwards. The FBI then set about duping him that their agents were al-Qa'ida contacts dispatched to help him carry out the bombing.

The suspect, said to be in his 30s, was tracked by undercover agents as he arrived in Washington and made his way to Capitol Hill. He was arrested in a car park at the Labour Department, just a few blocks from Congress.

The drama came a day after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian, was jailed for life for trying to blow up a Delta Airlines flight as it approached Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, with a bomb hidden in his underpants.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower