Another Empty Suicide Vest

The name of the latest FBI-produced terrorist is Amine el-Khalifi. He is 29 and from Morocco. He was arrested today outside of the Labor Department in DC.

As is usual with most of FBI’s terrorist arrests of late, the FBI provided the suspect with the weapons he would have used to attack the target–in this case, the Capitol. As is usual, this appears to be an instance where the FBI found someone talking about violence–usually online–and then cultivated that violent desire over time.

So it seems like this is a now-familiar story.

I am rather amused that this particular FBI-written story includes an inert suicide vest.

He was carrying with him a vest that he believed was packed with explosives but that actually contained harmless material, officials said.

The man thought he was being assisted by members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, but they were really undercover FBI agents, officials said.

[snip]

“The arrest was the culmination of an undercover operation during which the suspect was closely monitored by law enforcement,” Carr said in a statement. “Explosives the suspect allegedly sought to use in connection with the plot had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public. [my emphasis]

I find that interesting only as a matter of coincidence. After all, we just charged Majid Khan, in part of donning what appears to have been an inert suicide vest.

I don’t know why, but I find it curious we’re adopting the same tactics that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed allegedly used to test Khan.

Update: Given the other targets this dude considered, it sure seems like the FBI picked a scary target, just like they did for the Scary Iran Plot.

El Khalifi expressed interest in killing at least 30 people and considered targeting a building in Alexandria and a restaurant, synagogue and a place where military personnel gather in Washington before he settled on the Capitol after canvassing that area a couple of times, the counterterrorism official said.

Also note, they appear to be cracking down on a bunch of other Moroccans who are out of immigration status. I guess they couldn’t convince those guys to join a terror conspiracy, and instead of us hosting them in a federal prison for the rest of their lives, they’ll be deported.

Update: Alright, this doesn’t make sense:

The affidavit alleges that over the next month, El Khalifi traveled to the U.S. Capitol Building on multiple occasions to conduct surveillance, choosing the spot where he would be dropped off to enter the building for the martyrdom operation, the specific time for the attack and the method he would use to avoid attracting the attention of law enforcement. El Khalifi also asked Hussien to remotely detonate the bomb he would be wearing on the day of the attack if El Khalifi encountered problems with security officers, and to provide El Khalifi with a gun that he could use during the attack to shoot any officers who might attempt to stop him.

On February 17, 2012, El Khalifi allegedly traveled to a parking garage near the U.S. Capitol Building. El Khalifi took possession of a MAC-10 automatic weapon and put on a vest containing what he believed to be a functioning bomb. Unbeknownst to El Khalifi, both the weapon and the bomb had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement. El Khalifi walked alone from the vehicle toward the United States Capitol, where he intended to shoot people and detonate the bomb. El Khalifi was arrested and taken into custody before exiting the parking garage.

The FBI says his own plan was to be dropped off at the Capitol building.

But what happened instead is he did a Deep Throat in a parking garage to get his empty suicide vest.

So whose plan was he implementing, again? Also, they decided to operationalize him in December, after first being tipped off to him in January. Actually pretty quick work for them.

Update: Here’s the complaint. Note it doesn’t say whether or not these conversations were taped. Also, this dude believed he’d get in the Capitol w/a gun and suicide vest loaded down with nails.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @granick So that's the fault of whom? Hell, there's FAR MORE than was confirmed in 2011 than that lets on. @normative
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emptywheel @normative First confirmation was NSL IG report released in August. https://t.co/pbO9QjMv6y Maybe I'm only one who read report? @granick
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emptywheel .@granick That's false. It was confirmed (also by DOJ IG) in August. https://t.co/pbO9QjMv6y
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emptywheel @regretblues AAG NSD. But she's a former USA. She should know these authorities bc she has had to approve them.
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emptywheel @KenDilanianAP Yup or providers may have already said they won't comply & Admin want to avoid challenge @froomkin @RachelBLevinson @granick
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emptywheel @KenDilanianAP @froomkin @RachelBLevinson They may have legal reasons not to want to: like a guarantee from providers they'll sue. @granick
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emptywheel @froomkin @PressSec may be trying to do say, "we're no longer going to ask for it. Either authorize us to get it way we want or we'll die"
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emptywheel DC Press: Ho hum. Rand Paul is running for President on same plank our forefathers revolted against King George. How cynical of him!
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emptywheel @granick There is one tiny area where DiFi's bill improves on USA F-ReDux tho (but I'm laying low about it) @jakelaperruque
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emptywheel RT @attackerman: After a decade reporting on "Guantanamo's Child," @shephardm interviews Omar Khadr. http://t.co/5CecJG8teO
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emptywheel @JakeLaperruque Bingo. 1) FISC has ALREADY approved 2) we have examples of summaries fr Vaughn 3) FISC proven unreliable arbiter @granick
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emptywheel @JakeLaperruque Once you've defined bulk as "all" then it's very easy for IC to get to "not-bulk" w/in terms of law. @granick
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