Published: Feb 17, 2012 9:19 PM EST
Updated: Feb 17, 2012 11:15 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - Police say a 29-year-old Moroccan man planning to detonate what he thought were explosives has been arrested in an FBI sting operation near the U.S. Capitol.
 
Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd says the suspect was closely monitored by law enforcement, and the purported explosives were deactivated, so the public was not in danger.
 
Counterterrorism and law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity say the man had been under investigation for about a year and had overstayed his visitor visa for years. The counterterrorism official says the FBI provided him with an inoperable gun and inert explosives.
 
The law enforcement official says the man changed his mind about his intended target several times but ultimately decided on the Capitol after canvassing the area a couple of times. The man is not believed to be associated with al-Qaida.