Amine El Khalifi was due in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., for a plea hearing Friday, four months after he was charged in an undercover FBI operation.
El Khalifi was arrested in February in a parking garage near the U.S. Capitol, wearing what he thought was an explosive-laden suicide vest. The vest, provided by undercover operatives, was actually inert and a gun he planned to use to shoot his way past security in the building was also inoperable, prosecutors said.
Court records show El Khalifi, most recently of Alexandria, is a native of Morocco and had been living illegally in the United States for more than a decade.
Prosecutors say El Khalifi had revealed his intention to kill Americans to an undercover FBI operative he thought was a member of the al-Qaida terrorist group. He spoke of wanting to attack a synagogue and kill Army generals, prosecutors said, before settling on a plot to blow himself up inside the U.S. Capitol as an act of martyrdom. Officials have said the public was never in danger.
His public defenders did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday.
El Khalifi could have faced life in prison if convicted at trial.