June 27th, 2012
04:54 PM ET

Saudi student convicted in Texas bomb plot

By Terry Frieden

A 20-year-old Saudi student in Texas has been convicted by an Amarillo federal jury of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Although Khalid Ali Aldawsari had not yet constructed a bomb or selected a target, a jury found him guilty of the WMD charge and of illegally buying chemicals on line. The jury was unanimous in its decision.

The arrest focused attention again on the danger posed by "lone-wolf" terrorists.

Prosecutors told jurors the defendant's journal showed he had intended to cause violence and that he believed "it is time for jihad."  The government said Aldawsari had a target list that showed he considered trying to blow up hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants. His list also included the Dallas home of former president George W. Bush.

Shortly before his arrest a chemical supplier had tipped off the FBI of a suspicious purchase. 

Aldasawri was arrested in February, 2011 near Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He had been formally enrolled on a student visa at nearby South Plains College. Officials said he had studied chemical engineering.

“As this trial demonstrated, Aldawsari purchased ingredients to construct an explosive device and was actively researching potential targets in the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security Lisa Monaco.

Judge Sarah Saldana in Amarillo set sentencing for October 9. Aldawsari could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Filed under: Living With Terror • Lone wolf • Terrorism
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Skorpio

    A pragmatic solution for Islamic violence is a MASSIVE CONVERSION OF MUSLIMS TO CHRISTIANITY or to any other religion except Islam. The best choice could be ANY of the Middle Eastern Arab CHRISTIAN churches which share the same language, culture and traditions as Muslims but NOT their satanic Islamic faith.

    October 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Capt Nemo

      This was tried during what are now known as the Crusades. Didn't pan out exactly the way you have it planned the last time; what makes you think it would work any better now?

      October 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  2. johnprine

    We won't look back on this era like the McCarthy times... Times have changed.. Weapons are bigger.. Technology is easing us further and further to a 1984 state

    July 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  3. manyote

    He is lucky this is a federal case and not state. Those big burley Texas hombres in the state pen would've loved to have some young Arab thaing down there.

    June 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  4. saudi

    He will be free before you know. He is Saudi.
    GWB or TX gov will get message from king of oil.
    And the boy will be on his way to home on charted flight...

    Remember what happed to Osama bin laden family after 9/11

    June 28, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Um...I hate to point this out, because I am sure you know this already (*cough*), but....Bin Laden's family were not guilty of committing any crime. Seeing your "guilt by genetics" mentality, I can see that Bush sending them home to Saudi Arabia was a good move.

      June 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  5. Ralemant

    Seth is obviously a wanna-be terrorist. He should be checked-out. Terrorists are people how hate their own lives, and yours, too. Or should i say, they dont know that the option to self-loathing and jealousy is to try to generate goodwill and to develop hope and peace for themselves and others. Online searches? Chemical engineering? I should think his prison time is best served in the "general population" section of prison. He will then be deported, to be sure.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
  6. Name*princesslizzy

    Oh good grief Seth. The United States is the greatest nation in the world! I'm proud to be an American and I find it extremely insulting to call Americans bigots and cowards!

    @Kittyg unfortunately you are right! I can not wait for a new president!

    June 28, 2012 at 12:02 am | Reply
    • GOPisGreedOverPeople

      The GOP solution: Start a war with Iran (totally unfunded of course). Get the poor people to fight/die in the war while giving the rich people "no bid contracts" thus killing two GOP birds with one stone. Then use Iran's oil to pay for the war. And when the war is over, Iran will sell us cheap oil!!!!!!! Just like in Iraq!!!!!!! Oh wait..........never mind.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
  7. Kittyg

    Not to worry, Obummer will pardon his fellow Muslim!

    June 27, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
    • John Bosshardt

      You are one of the 48% uniformed ignoramuses. At least the next time say something objective.

      June 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  8. como

    If only this had happened before the Oklahoma City bombing.

    June 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  9. larry5

    This conviction is the creation of a cash cow for those in the legal system. One obvious question is did this guy really operate alone? Is this all over now that there's a conviction? Remember, there are government employees here making decisions. Do you feel protected?

    June 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  10. Seth

    Ok so let me get this straight. Our "justice" system could potentially give a person life in prison for illegally buying chemicals? A) Why isn’t' the seller of the chemicals being prosecuted for the sale if it was illegal? B) How can you charge someone with weapons of mass destruction if he didn't even possess a WMD? I think this has given me even more reason to not trust this government or the citizens that sit on our juries. We're willing to put a person in prison for life because a lawyer was able to convince an obviously scared jury of intent to commit a crime that hadn't even been committed, yet murderers are given a few years and allowed to walk amongst us for the crimes they did commit. I’ll say terrorist have already achieved their goal and turned the people of the United States into bigot cowards. Mission accomplished Al-Qaeda!

    June 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • rob


      June 27, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
    • Old MaidAunt

      I think, if we are lucky, Americans will look back on this era in the same manner they look back at the McCarthy era, with incredulity, disbelief, and shame. We are running scared, being manipulated by fear mongers and racists.

      June 28, 2012 at 1:11 am | Reply
    • TJ

      dear god please tell me Seth doesnt live in the USA

      June 28, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Ameritalib

      I agree strongly Seth

      June 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      You are an idiot, SETH. They have his internet postings, blogs, and a laundry list of chemicals known to be specific ingredients for making IEDs. Law enforcement in this case successfuly put this terrorist away because they obviously possess the one thing you lack:


      June 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply

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