Saudi man, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas, charged with plotting terrorist attack

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Normal Saudi man, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas, charged with plotting terrorist attack

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:01 pm

By ADAM GOLDMAN Associated Press
Feb. 24, 2011, 11:10AM

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WASHINGTON — A young college student from Saudi Arabia studying chemical engineering in Texas purchased explosive chemicals over the Internet as part of a plan to hide bomb materials inside dolls and baby carriages to blow up dams, nuclear plants or the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush, the Justice Department said Thursday.

"It is war ... until the infidels leave defeated," the student wrote in online postings.

One of the chemical companies, Carolina Biological Supply of Burlington, N.C., reported suspicious purchases by Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas, to the FBI on Feb. 1. Within weeks, federal agents had traced his other online purchases, discovered extremist posts he made on the Internet and secretly searched his apartment, computer and e-mail accounts and read his diary, according to court records.

Aldawsari, who was legally in the U.S. on a student visa, was expected to appear in federal court on Friday. He was charged Thursday with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Aldawsari entered the U.S. in October 2008 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to study chemical engineering at Texas Tech University, then transferred earlier this year to nearby South Plains College.

The terrorism case against Aldawsari was significant because it demonstrated that radicalized foreigners can live quietly in the U.S. heartland without raising suspicions from neighbors, classmates, teachers or others. But it also showed how quickly U.S. law enforcement can move when tipped that a terrorist plot may be unfolding.

The White House said President Barack Obama was notified about the plot prior to Aldawsari's arrest Wednesday. "This arrest once again underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad," White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said in a statement Thursday.

In e-mails Aldawsari apparently sent himself, he listed the names of 12 reservoir dams in Colorado and California. He also wrote an e-mail that mentioned "Tyrant's House" with the address of President Bush's home. The FBI's affidavit said he considered using infant dolls to hide explosives and was possibly targeting a nightclub with a backpack filled with explosives.

The FBI said the North Carolina company reported the attempts to purchase phenol, a chemical that can be used to make the explosive trinitrophenol, also known as TNP, or picric acid. Aldawsari falsely told the supplier he was associated with a university and wanted the phenol for "off-campus, personal research," according to court records. But frustrated by questions, Aldawsari canceled his order and later e-mailed himself instructions for producing phenol. Prosecutors said that in December 2010, he successfully purchased concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids that are combined to make TNP.

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Normal Re: Saudi man, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas, charged with plotting terrorist attack

Post by charminglane on Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:10 pm

If he emailed himself, he might have been researching at the school library. It is easy and less noticeable than printing from the public computer.
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Normal Re: Saudi man, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas, charged with plotting terrorist attack

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:13 am

In e-mails Aldawsari apparently sent himself,
I thought the author meant HE (not someone else) sent emails. Why would he send emails to himself?

Charm, you may have interpreted it correctly.

Thank God the feds caught him. I cannot imagine putting bombs in baby carriages. How utterly horrific!

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Normal Re: Saudi man, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas, charged with plotting terrorist attack

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:38 am

LUBBOCK — A college student from Saudi Arabia who had studied chemical engineering at Texas Tech University bought explosive chemicals online as part of a plan to hide bomb materials inside dolls and baby carriages to blow up dams, nuclear plants or the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush, the Justice Department said Thursday.

"After mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for jihad," or holy war, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari wrote in his private journal, according to court documents.

Aldawsari, 20, wrote that he had been planning an attack in the United States for years, even before coming to the U.S. on a scholarship. He said he was influenced by Osama bin Laden's speeches and bemoaned the plight of Muslims.

On Feb. 1, one of the chemical companies, Carolina Biological Supply of Burlington, N.C., reported a suspicious $435 order by Aldawsari to the FBI.

Separately, Con-way Freight, a 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 his other online purchases, discovered extremist posts he made on the Internet and secretly read his diary and searched his off-campus apartment, computer and e-mail accounts, according to court records.

Trinitrophenol, the chemical explosive that Aldawsari is accused 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 explosive. That's about the same amount used per bomb in the London subway attacks that killed scores of people in July 2005.

Aldawsari, who was legally in the U.S. on a student visa, was expected to appear in federal court today. He was charged Thursday with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Aldawsari entered the U.S. in October 2008 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to study chemical engineering at Texas Tech. He transferred this year to nearby South Plains College, where he was studying business.

A Saudi industrial company, which was not identified in court documents, was paying his tuition and living expenses.

It was not immediately clear whether Aldawsari has hired a lawyer.

The address listed as Aldawsari's apartment in Lubbock is one block from the Tech campus in an area of mixed-use retail and apartment complexes where many students live. Officials at South Plains said he had been at the university for about six weeks.

The terrorism case outlined in court documents was significant because it suggests that radicalized foreigners can live quietly in the U.S. without raising suspicions from neighbors, classmates, teachers or others. But it also showed how quickly U.S. law enforcement can move when tipped that a terrorist plot may be unfolding.

The White House said President Barack Obama was notified about the plot before Aldawsari's arrest Wednesday.

In e-mails Aldawsari apparently sent to himself, he listed 12 reservoir dams in Colorado and California; the documents did not state their exact locations. He also wrote an e-mail that mentioned "Tyrant's House" with the address of Bush's home.

The FBI's affidavit said Aldawsari considered using infant dolls to hide explosives and was possibly targeting a nightclub with a backpack filled with explosives.

Aldawsari was using several e-mail accounts, prosecutors said. One e-mail message traced to him described instructions to convert a cell phone into a remote detonator. Another listed the names and home addresses of three American citizens who had previously served in the U.S. military and had been stationed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq — the site of a detainee abuse scandal in 2005. A different e-mail contained an Internet link for real-time traffic cameras in New York.

Aldawsari also described a plan in his journal that involved leaving car bombs in different places during rush hour in New York and remotely detonating them.

Prosecutors said that in December, he bought 30 liters of concentrated nitric acid and three gallons of concentrated sulfuric acid, which are among the ingredients in trinitrophenol, also known as TNP. The FBI found the chemicals in Aldawsari's apartment along with beakers, flasks, wiring, a hazmat suit and clocks.

Prosecutors said Aldawsari hoped to create an Islamic group under al Qaeda's banner and wrote a blog to publish extremist messages expressing his dismay over conditions for Muslims.

"You who created mankind ... grant me martyrdom for your sake and make jihad easy for me only in your path," he wrote, according to court records.

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As usual, you were correct, Charm. ❤

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Normal Re: Saudi man, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas, charged with plotting terrorist attack

Post by charminglane on Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:41 pm

Well, I email myself stuff all the time!
Not bomb info from the library so my IP doesn't show up, however...
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