Saudi student gets life in plot to strike in U.S.,
AMARILLO, Texas — A former Texas college student from Saudi Arabia was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for trying to make a bomb for use in a religious attack, possibly targeting a former U.S. president.
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari was sentenced in Amarillo, where jurors convicted him in June of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Prosecutors say he had collected bomb-making material in his apartment and researched possible targets, including the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush. A handwritten journal found in his apartment included notes that he believed it was time for “jihad,” a Muslim term for holy war.
Although the 22-year-old Aldawsari apologized Tuesday for “these bad actions,” Judge Donald E. Walter said the evidence against him was overwhelming. Walter acknowledged he was conflicted due to Aldawsari's youth and signs that outside influences had led him astray.
“But the bottom line is that but by the grace of God there would be dead Americans,” Walter said. “You would have done it. In every step, it was you all alone.”
There is no parole in the federal system for defendants convicted of recent crimes.
Aldawsari came to the U.S. legally in 2008 to study chemical engineering. He was arrested in Lubbock in February 2011, after federal agents searched his apartment and found explosive chemicals, wiring, a hazmat suit and clocks, along with videos showing how to make the chemical explosive TNP.
Investigators say Aldawsari's goal was to carry out jihad. His attorneys claimed he was a harmless failure who never came close to attacking anyone.
FBI bomb experts say the amounts of chemicals he had would have yielded almost 15 pounds of explosive — about the same amount used per bomb in the 2005 London subway attacks. He also tried to order phenol, a chemical that can be used to make explosives.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- White House targets sexual assaults on college campuses
- White House evacuated for fence jumper
- News Alert
- U.S., Canadian jets intercept 8 Russian aircraft
- Chief justice worried about partisanship
- Daughter says of Utah doctor: He’s a ‘monster’
- Even record-setting retardant drops barely slow Calif. blaze
- Ten Commandments lawsuit tossed
- License plate scanner networks gotcha
- Italian village to honor World War II U.S. bomber pilots
- Convicted Florida felon kills his 6 grandchildren, daughter, self