Thursday, February 24, 2011

FBI Arrests Suspected Terror Plotter in Texas


Federal agents arrested a Saudi student in Texas and charged him with attempting to construct improvised explosives and compiling a list of possible targets, including the home of former President George W. Bush.



Federal agents arrested a Saudi student in Texas and charged him with attempting to construct improvised explosives and compiling a list of possible targets, including the home of former President George W. Bush.
Associated Press
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari is shown in this undated photo made available by the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office on Thursday.
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20 years old, is charged in a federal criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Mr. Aldawsari is in the U.S. on a 2008 student visa and is enrolled at South Plains College, near Lubbock, Texas.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have scrambled in recent weeks to determine whether Mr. Aldawsari has links to international terror groups and have found none, according to U.S. officials.
The FBI alleges that electronic surveillance and searches of Mr. Aldawsari's apartment turned up Internet blog postings and a personal journal that expressed his desire for jihad and martyrdom.
An FBI affidavit filed in federal court alleges that the case began Feb. 1 after the FBI was alerted by a North Carolina company about suspicious purchases of the chemical phenol. The FBI says phenol has common legitimate uses but can also be used to make Tri-Nitro-Phenol, an explosive also known as picric acid.
The criminal complaint alleges that Mr. Aldawsari emailed himself a list of possible targets for attack including the Dallas address of former President Bush, reservoirs and dams in Colorado and California, nuclear-power plants and Dallas nightclubs.
Mr. Aldawsari also researched realistic-looking dolls, in which the FBI alleges he considered hiding explosives.