(CNN) – The arrest of an Ohio man allegedly plotting an ISIS-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol sent shockwaves across the country last week. 20-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell is now facing charges for attempting to kill U.S. government officials.
Although he’s been labeled a lone wolf, he’s definitely not the only terror suspect caught up in an FBI undercover sting. An FBI operation foiled another plot to attack the U.S. Congress.
The video is convincing. Watch the man sitting in the front seat. Amine el Khalifi, subject of the sting, “I’ve thought about this a long time.”
A hidden camera is rolling inside a car, Amine el Khalifi sounds like his mind’s made up.
El Khalifi can be heard saying, “Listen, I’m going to go it alone. You’re not going to go with me. I’m going to put everything on my body and inside a real place. Maybe uh, Capitol or somewhere who… with main people.”
A rare, frightening look inside the mind of a would-be suicide bomber ready to strap on a vest with explosives and blow himself up at the U.S. Capitol. A lone wolf stopped by a FBI undercover sting.
FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe says, “The difference here is not just the clear intent to strike us here, but the pursuit of the capability to be able to conduct that attack, and I think the tape shows that very well.”
El Khalifi is an unemployed DJ seeking revenge on the U.S. for its war on terror. He’s convinced God’s telling him to kill. “This is not about happiness. This is about Allah. This is not about, you know, us anymore. It’s about Allah.”
El Khalifi is in hurry. The Moroccan national is living illegally in the U.S., dealing with assault charges. “I”m done. I’m done. My work is done in this life.”
Willing to die, and he’s inside a store buying nails for shrapnel for his body bomb. Bragging about the size of the nails. Excited about the damage he can do. “Thick ones, I got, thick ones, not thin ones. The ones that gonna make damage. Don’t be nervous man. Come on, man”
Again, he brings up his target – the U.S. Congress.
El Khalifi: “Yeah. I want to go somewhere with those…suits. Those heads…just them.”
Undercover agent: “The Senators.”
El Khalifi: “Exactly. I want those people.”
Undercover agents drive el Khalifi to a landfill, setting up a test bomb for his suicide vest. Back inside the car, undercover agents using a cell phone show him how easy it is to detonate a bomb.
The undercover agent says, “You’re going to call it, you’re going to call it. It’s called test. You just hit ‘ok’ and get it to dial.”
He gives him the phone. The time is getting closer.
El Khalifi says, “I’m not thinking about anything. Nothing. I have my decision. I seen some stuff in my dreams.” And his dream includes shooting anyone who gets in his way. In a hotel room with undercover agents, he practices with a Mac-10.
The undercover agent says, “You hold the trigger, it’s going to keep firing. Hold it tight man. Hold it tight. It doesn’t take much. You just point, aim, and shoot.”
Ready to kill, el Khalifi drives to a D.C. garage, puts on what he thinks is a real suicide vest and grabs a loaded Mac-10. Both are duds provided by the FBI. And agents take him down.
McCabe says, “Individuals who are self-radicalized can exist off the radar as it were for a long time until they are actually ready to act, and that’s the scenario that causes us the most concern.”
After pleading guilty, el Khalifi gets a 30 year sentence. He tells a judge: “I just want to say that I love Allah”.