Saudi student given life in prison for plot to attack Bush home
The FBI arrested Khalid Aldawsari back in February 2011 after finding bomb-making materials in the student's Lubbock, Texas, home. Aldawsari was convicted in June of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, BBC reports.
Aldawsari had a list of targets, including hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants.
"The bottom line is that but by the grace of God there would be dead Americans," Judge Donald Walter said, according to BBC. "You would have done it. In every step, it was you all alone."
Federal officials started to investigate Aldawsari after he bought $435 worth of phenol from a chemical company. Phenol can be used to make explosives. Aldawsari later cancelled the order. He eventually bought three gallons of concentrated sulfuric acid and close to eight gallons of concentrated nitric acid.
Prior to Aldawsari's arrest, federal agents found explosive chemicals, wiring, a hazmat suit, clocks, evidence of Aldawsari's research, a journal and videos to make TNP, an explosive chemical.
"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 wrote in a journal entry, according to BBC.
Aldawsari apologized at the hearing on Tuesday. During the trial, his defense lawyers argued that the student never took a substantial step to carry out the attack.
Aldawsari came to the U.S. legally in 2008. He first studied chemical engineering at Texas Tech before transferring to South Plains College to study business. His tuition and living expenses were paid for by a Saudi industrial company, BBC reports.