Some facts are still unclear in the case of a man who attempted to bomb the U.S. Capitol in a suicide mission, but former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Sunday when more details are revealed it will be easier to determine how big a catch the alleged bomber was.
On Friday, Moroccan immigrant Amine El Khalifi was arrested while allegedly en route to bomb the U.S. Capitol. Law enforcement officials say there was never any real danger since they’d been monitoring El Khalifi for a year. El Khalifi is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
"The question I have about this particular incident is whether or not he was an enabled terrorist before we dealt with him or were enabling in the process?" Ridge told "America's News Headquarters" on Sunday.
“In other words, did we pick a name up, an identity, an individual who was being very aggressive in the chat room and then befriended and equipped him, or did we think he truly had the capability to attack unilaterally himself?"
Ridge says he believes "we’ll know, at the end of the day, how effective, obviously the FBI was effective, we’ll know his status."
Ridge, the former governor of Pennsylvania and first Homeland Security secretary -- until 2005 -- added that the system is working.
"It's unfortunately, the world we live in, we have a strong intelligence community, Strong FBI, we will continue to deal with it as successfully as we have in the past."