Jihad Comes To Texas

This story is based on two sources–a press release from the Justice Department yesterday, and a story at CBN.com today.

Some highlights from the Justice Department Press Release:

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and resident of Lubbock, Texas, was arrested late yesterday by FBI agents in Texas on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with his alleged purchase of chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and his research of potential U.S. targets.

…Aldawsari is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Lubbock at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning.  Aldawsari, who was lawfully admitted into the United States in 2008 on a student visa and is enrolled at South Plains College near Lubbock, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

…In another e-mail titled “NICE TARGETS 01,” Aldawsari allegedly sent himself the names of 12 reservoir dams in Colorado and California.   In another e-mail to himself, titled “NICE TARGETS,” he listed two categories of targets: hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants.   On Feb. 6, 2011, the affidavit alleges, Aldawsari sent himself an e-mail titled “Tyrant’s House,” in which he listed the Dallas address for former President George W. Bush.   The affidavit also alleges that Aldawsari conducted research that could indicate his consideration of the use of infant dolls to conceal explosives and possible targeting of a nightclub with an explosive concealed in a backpack.

There are a few things in this press release worth noting:  the chemicals and materials needed to build an improvised explosive device (IED) are readily available, this man was in the country legally on a student visa, and this man felt secure enough about not being watched or monitored that he was sending himself emails detailing his plans.  Mr. Aldawsari is believed to be a ‘lone wolf’ terrorist, which means that there was no group to infiltrate and no member of the group to make a mistake that led to exposure.  There is the most difficult type of terrorist to find and thus, one of the most dangerous types.

The article at CBN points out:

“Federal officials were tipped off about the suspect after he tried to purchase a large amount of phenol — a chemical used to make high explosives.”

He was discovered because someone noticed his purchases of a a large amount of phenol, a chemical used to make high explosives.  Thank God someone was alert.