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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
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FBI Thwarts Texas Man’s Plan to Bomb Bush Home

(CN) - A 20-year-old Lubbock, Texas, man is expected to appear in court Friday on charges that he bought chemicals and equipment to build improvised explosive devices, which he allegedly planned to use in an attack on the home of George W. Bush, as well as at dams and power plants.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a Saudi Arabian citizen studying chemical engineering at Texas Tech University, was arrested late Wednesday. The government's complaint states that Aldawsari bought a variety of bomb-making chemicals and materials. A chemical supplier alerted the FBI that Aldawsari had suspiciously tried to buy concentrated phenol, which can be used to make explosives, according to an agent's sworn affidavit filed in conjunction with the complaint.

Aldawsari told the supplier he was associated with the university and needed the phenol for "off-campus, personal research," the affidavit states. He cancelled his order after becoming frustrated at the number of questions the supplier asked, but managed to buy sulfuric and nitric acids last December, according to the indictment.

The FBI says Aldawsari e-mailed himself instructions on how to make phenol, along with information about cell phone detonators and booby-trapping vehicles.

"One operation in the land of the infidels is equal to ten operations against occupying forces in the land of the Muslims," Aldawsari allegedly wrote in one of the e-mails to himself.

An FBI search of Aldawsari's apartment confirmed that he had bought acids, as well as a Hazmat suit, beakers, flasks and wiring. Agents also found a notebook allegedly written by Aldawsari saying he had been planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil for years.

He wrote that his education in the United States would help him reach his goal of attacking U.S. targets, according to the affidavit.

"Now, after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for Jihad," one entry allegedly says.

Aldawsari also outlined a "synopsis of important steps" in the notebook, the FBI found. He allegedly planned to obtain a forged U.S. birth certificate, get a passport and driver's license, and change his clothes and appearance before picking up a rental car to detonate the bombs.

In an e-mail to himself titled "Tyrant's House," Aldawsari noted the address of the Bush home in Dallas. In other e-mails, he identified the locations of a number of hydroelectric dams and power plants throughout the United States.

Aldawsari is being charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard Baker and Denise Williams are in charge of the prosecution.

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