Amine el-Khalifi is a Moroccan young man who came to the United States 14 years ago at the age of 16 on a tourist visa. He eventually overstayed his visa as thousands of others do each year and has resided illegally in the United States ever since.
On Friday morning el-Khalifi was arrested on terrorism charges as part of an FBI sting. He was headed for the U.S. Capitol’s visitor entrance wearing a bomb vest and holding a Mac 10 machine gun. His intent was to kill as many people as possible in his suicide mission. El-Khalifi was engaged in what he thought was a suicide mission for al-Qaeda.
Thankfully, the FBI had been investigating el-Khalifi for about a year and their undercover operation ensured that whatever equipment had been given to el-Khalifi was inoperable.
According to press reports, el-Khalifi had been preparing for this event for some time, even testing home made explosives in a quarry in West Virginia. What is most disconcerting is the fact that until his plans for terrorism came to the attention of federal authorities, el-Khalifi would have been eligible for the Obama Administration’s new policy of administrative amnesty, or potentially given U.S. citizenship through the DREAM Act. As someone whose only crime, in the eyes of the Administration, was that he was here illegally, he would have had a good chance of avoiding deportation proceedings.
While we applaud the efforts of our federal enforcement agencies in protecting this country, how long before another el-Khalifi tries and succeeds in carrying out a terrorist act? Of the 19 terrorists that carried out the 9-11 attacks against New York and Washington, at least 15 had overstayed their visitor visas and were in the country illegally. Terrorists only need to get it ‘right’ once and it can come at a devastating expense to innocent lives.