Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center imam Johari Abdul-Malik, who along with other Muslim leaders meets regularly with the FBI, said he was contacted by an agency official after El Khalifi's arrest and told the suspect was not someone he needed to worry about.
He said the official told him that Khalifi was "not a regular at your mosque or any mosque in the area."
He said he offered to supply the FBI with surveillance video of the mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, in case it helped with their investigation but was told that was it not necessary.
Police are close to arresting one of El Khalifi's associates on charges unrelated to the terror conspiracy, the counterterrorism official said. The associate was said to also be a Moroccan, living here illegally. Police are investigating others El Khalifi associated with, but not because they believe the associates were part of a terror conspiracy, the official said.
Tucker reported from Arlington, Virginia. Associated Press writers Eileen Sullivan, Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Laurie Kellman, Jessica Gresko, Eric Tucker, Sarah Brumfield and Brett Zongker contributed to this report.
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