Saudi gets life term in Texas ‘ji­had’ plot

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - BY JERRY SEPER

A 22-year-old Saudi na­tional was sen­tenced Nov. 13 in fed­eral court in Texas to life in prison in his June con­vic­tion on charges of at­tempt­ing to build a weapon of mass de­struc­tion.

Khalid Ali-M Al­dawsari, a res­i­dent of Lub­bock, Texas, was sen­tenced by U.S. Dis­trict Judge Don­ald E. Wal­ter in fed­eral court in Amar­illo.

Al­dawsari was con­victed June 27 on an in­dict­ment charg­ing one count of at­tempted use of a weapon of mass de­struc­tion in con­nec­tion with his pur­chase of chem­i­cals and equip­ment nec­es­sary to make an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice (IED) and his re­search of po­ten­tial U.S. tar­gets, in­clud­ing per­sons and in­fra­struc­ture.

Court records show that Al­dawsari had listed two cat­e­gories of tar­gets: hy­dro­elec­tric dams and nu­clear power plants. He also sent him­self an email ti­tled “Tyrant’s House,” in which he listed the Dal­las ad­dress for for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

“Khalid Al­dawsari came to this coun­try in­tent on car­ry­ing out an at­tack,” said As­sis­tant At­tor­ney Gen­eral Lisa Monaco, who heads the Jus­tice Depart­ment’s Na­tional Se­cu­rity Division. “He then be­gan pur­chas­ing in­gre­di­ents to con­struct a bomb and was ac­tively re­search­ing po­ten­tial tar­gets in Amer­ica.

“Thanks to the hard work of many agents, an­a­lysts and pros­e­cu­tors, his plot was thwarted be­fore any­one was harmed. He was con­victed at trial and, to­day at sen­tenc­ing, he was held ac­count­able for his ac­tions,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing

to

court doc­u­ments and ev­i­dence pre­sented dur­ing trial, Al­dawsari had been re­search­ing on­line how to con­struct an IED us­ing sev­eral chem­i­cals as in­gre­di­ents. He also had ac­quired or taken a sub­stan­tial step to­ward ac­quir­ing most of the in­gre­di­ents and equip­ment nec­es­sary to con­struct an IED, and he had con­ducted on­line re­search of sev­eral po­ten­tial U.S. tar­gets.

In ad­di­tion, the doc­u­ments show, he had de­scribed his de­sire for vi­o­lent ji­had and mar­tyr­dom in blog post­ings and a per­sonal jour­nal.

“This case, in which pri­vate cit­i­zens paid at­ten­tion to de­tails and no­ti­fied au­thor­i­ties of their sus­pi­cions, serves as a re­minder to all pri­vate cit­i­zens that we must al­ways be ob­ser­vant and vig­i­lant, as there are some who in­tend to cause great harm,” said U.S. At­tor­ney Sarah R. Sal­dana in Texas. “Khalid Al­dawsari, act­ing as a lone wolf, may well have gone un­de­tected were it not for the keen observations of pri­vate cit­i­zens.”

The gov­ern­ment pre­sented ev­i­dence that on Feb. 1, 2011, a chem­i­cal sup­plier re­ported to the FBI a sus­pi­cious at­tempted pur­chase of con­cen­trated phe­nol by a man iden­ti­fy­ing him­self as Khalid Al­dawsari. Phe­nol is a toxic chem­i­cal with le­git­i­mate uses, but can also be used to make the ex­plo­sive trini­tro­phe­nol, also known as T.N.P., or pi­cric acid.

Court records show that Al­dawsari at­tempted to have the phe­nol or­der shipped to a freight com­pany so it could be held for him there, but the freight com­pany told Al­dawsari the or­der had been re­turned to the sup­plier and called the po­lice.

Later, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ments, Al­dawsari falsely told the sup­plier he was as­so­ci­ated with a univer­sity and wanted the phe­nol for “off-cam­pus, per­sonal re­search.” Frus­trated by ques­tions be­ing asked over his phe­nol or­der, Al­dawsari can­celed his or­der, placed an or­der with an­other com­pany, and later emailed him­self in­struc­tions for pro­duc­ing phe­nol.

In De­cem­ber 2010, he had suc­cess­fully pur­chased con­cen­trated ni­tric and sul­fu­ric acids. Al­dawsari also pur­chased many other items, in­clud­ing a haz­mat suit, a sol­der­ing-iron kit, glass beakers and flasks, a stun gun, clocks and a bat­tery tester.

Ex­cerpts from a jour­nal found at Al­dawsari’s res­i­dence in­di­cated that he had been plan­ning to com­mit a ter­ror­ist at­tack in the U.S. for years. One en­try de­scribes how Al­dawsari sought and ob­tained a par­tic­u­lar schol­ar­ship be­cause it al­lowed him to come di­rectly to the U.S. and helped him fi­nan­cially, which, he said, “will help tremen­dously in pro­vid­ing me with the sup­port I need for ji­had.”

The en­try con­tin­ues: “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.”

AMAR­ILLO (TEXAS) GLOBE-NEWS VIA AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Khalid Ali-M Al­dawsari, 22, is es­corted from the fed­eral court­house in Amar­illo, Texas, af­ter be­ing sen­tenced to life in prison on a fed­eral charge of at­tempt­ing to use a weapon of mass de­struc­tion in a Lub­bock, Texas-based bomb-mak­ing plot.

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