Authorities have arrested a man on his way to the US Capitol for what he thought would be a suicide attack on one of the nation’s most symbolic landmarks, FOX News Channel has learned exclusively.

The man, in his 30s and of Moroccan descent, was nabbed following a lengthy investigation by the FBI, initiated after he expressed interest in conducting an attack. It’s unclear how the FBI learned of his aspirations.

The man thought undercover FBI agents assisting him in his plot were associates of al Qaeda.

When he was arrested Friday in Washington, he was carrying with him a vest supposedly packed with explosives, but the material inside was not actually dangerous, FOX News was told.

A short time earlier, he had been praying at a mosque in the Washington area. His destination was Capitol Hill.

The public was never in danger, as he had been under constant surveillance for some time.

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