A 20-year-old Saudi Arabian student residing in Lubbock was arrested late Wednesday and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
The Justice Department says Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a student at South Plains College, was accused of purchasing chemicals to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and conducting online research of potential targets inside the United States.
“Yesterday’s arrest demonstrates the need for and the importance of vigilance and the willingness of private individuals and companies to ask questions and contact the authorities when confronted with suspicious activities. Based upon reports from the public, Aldawsari’s plot was uncovered and thwarted,” said James Jacks, US Attorney for North Texas
According to an arrest affidavit, FBI agents claimed that Aldawsari has at least three e-mails he sent to himself, titled "NICE TARGETS," "NICE TARGETS-01," and "Tyrant's House." The last e-mail reportedly contained the address of former President George W. Bush's home in Dallas. Other suspected targets were reservoir dams in California and Colorado, hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants and the addresses of three former American military members who served at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
Agents also found a diary, in which Aldawsari wrote, “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.”
Aldawsari is scheduled to appear in a federal courtroom in Lubbock tomorrow.