The United States has arrested a Saudi student studying in Texas, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, for allegedly planning to build bombs to attack U.S. sites, including the home of former President George W. Bush.
Aldawsari, 20, was arrested Wednesday by federal agents and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. In addition to the former president's Dallas home, which he called "the tyrant's house," he was accused of trying to blow up dams in Colorado and California, nuclear power plants, nightclubs and the homes of U.S. soldiers.
Aldawsari had been living legally in the United States on a student visa as he studied business at South Plains College in Lubbock, Texas.
The government began the investigation into Aldawsari after a North Carolina supply company reported on Feb. 1 that the young man tried to buy five liters of a chemical that can be used to make explosives. Authorities then discovered that the Saudi student had already bought large supplies of two other chemicals needed to make the explosive compound.
Aldawsari wrote in his journal that he planned on forming a new terrorist group modeled after Al Qaeda, according to an affidavit filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Investigators said he wrote the following in his journal:
“I excelled in my studies in high school in order to take advantage of an opportunity for a scholarship to America ... And now, after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives, and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for Jihad.”
It appeared that he had researched how to conceal bombs in children's dolls and in backpacks.
He is due to appear in federal court Friday and if convicted faces life in prison.
-- Hanna Ingber Win
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