- Man arrested in car bomb plot at Kansas airport
- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
Federal jury in Texas convicts Saudi in bomb plot
AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — A Saudi man accused of buying chemicals online and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction was found guilty Wednesday in federal court in Amarillo.
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, who was legally in the U.S. on a student visa, was arrested in February 2011 after federal agents secretly searched his apartment near Texas Tech University in Lubbock and found bomb-making chemicals, wiring, a hazmat suit and clocks.
Authorities also discovered Aldawsari’s journal, handwritten in Arabic, in which he wrote he had been planning a terror attack in the U.S. for years and that it was “time for jihad,” or holy war, court documents show.
President Obama was notified about the plot before Aldawsari’s arrest.
He faces up to life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 9 in Amarillo.
After the jury left the courtroom Wednesday, Aldawsari, 22, sat with his attorneys before being led off by U.S. marshals. Prosecutors left the courtroom and declined to comment.
His attorneys claimed that because Aldawsari didn’t have a bomb made or a target pinpointed, he couldn’t have attempted to use a bomb.
“It’s always disappointing when you lose, but at the same time, it was a very difficult case at the outset,” defense attorney Dan Cogdell said. “We did the best we could under the circumstances.”
Separately, Con-way Freight, the shipping company, notified Lubbock police and the FBI the same day with similar suspicions because it appeared the order wasn’t intended for commercial use.
Within weeks, federal agents had traced Aldawsari’s other online purchases, discovered extremist Internet posts and secretly searched his off-campus apartment, computer and email accounts and read his diary, according to court records.
TNP, the chemical explosive that Aldawsari was suspected of trying to make, has approximately the same destructive power as TNT. FBI bomb experts said the amounts in the Aldawsari case would have yielded almost 15 pounds of explosives — about the same amount used per bomb in the London subway attacks that killed scores of people in July 2005.
Aldawsari entered the United States in October 2008 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to study chemical engineering at Texas Tech, then transferred in early 2011 to nearby South Plains College, where he was studying business. A Saudi industrial company was paying his tuition and living expenses in the U.S.
The judge moved the trial to Amarillo earlier this year.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- North Korea's official report on Jang Song Thaek
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- James Bond: The spy who is really an alcoholic
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
A conservative commentator and satirist takes on the worlds of politics and entertainment in pursuit of truth, justice and all things America.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow