Texas resident convicted of attempting to use WMD

Sarah Saldaña

A Lubbock, Texas, resident and Saudi citizen was recently convicted by a federal jury on the charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari was indicted in connection with the purchase of equipment and chemicals needed to build an improvised explosive device and his research of potential targets in the United States.

The verdict was reached in the Northern District of Texas. Sentencing has been scheduled for the beginning of October in Amarillo, Texas. Aldawsari faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000.

According to court documents and evidence introduced during the trial, Aldawsari, who was admitted into the United States on a student visa in 2008, had been researching how to build an IED online. The affidavit alleges that he also took substantial steps towards purchasing most of the ingredients needed for a device and had sought out targets in the United States online.

Alsawsari allegedly described his desire to commit violent acts and become martyred in blog postings and in a personal journal.

“While many people are responsible for thwarting Aldawsari’s threat and bringing him to justice, we owe a debt of gratitude to all the members of the North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force, and especially to the hundreds of hardworking and dedicated FBI agents, analysts, linguists, and others,” U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña said. “Their efforts, coupled with the hard work and excellent cooperation from the Lubbock Police Department and the Texas Tech Police Department, are the reason we were able to stop this defendant from carrying out a catastrophic act of terrorism.”

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