A Lubbock man who is a native of Saudi Arabia was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents 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, and his research of potential U.S. targets.
Some of the targets included former President George W. Bush’s home in Dallas, at least 12 reservoir dams in Colorado and California and three American citizens who had previously served in the military and had been stationed for a time at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Authorities identified the suspect as Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, a South Plains College student. South Plains College is in Levelland near Lubbock.
The arrest and the criminal complaint, which was unsealed in the Northern District of Texas in Dallas, were announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; James T. Jacks, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas; and Robert E. Casey Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Field Division.
Aldawsari is expected to make his initial appearance at 9 a.m. Friday in federal court in Lubbock. Aldawsari was lawfully admitted into the United States in 2008 on a student visa.
If convicted, Aldawsair faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“South Plains College has been notified by the Dallas Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that one of our students has been detained,” said Dane Dewbre, the college’s Associate Dean of College Relations. “The FBI has assured us that there was no threat to any of our campus locations. South Plains College is cooperating fully with the FBI Dallas in their investigation.”
Aldawsari had been researching online how to construct improvised explosive devices using several chemicals as ingredients, according to a federal affidavit.
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