18 Feb 2012

Potential suicide bomber arrested in Washington

12:19 pm on 18 February 2012

Police in the United States have arrested a Moroccan man they believe was willing to carry out a suicide attack at the Capitol building in Washington.

Amine El Khalifi, 29, of Alexandria, Virginia, was taken into custody on Friday by the FBI.

US media were told he was wearing a vest that he thought contained explosives.

A Radio New Zealand News correspondent says he had been under investigation by the FBI for about a year, after overstaying his visitor visa.

The FBI provided him with an inoperable gun and inert explosives.

A Justice Department spokesman said the public was not in danger because the suspect was being closely monitored and the explosives were deactivated.