Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a 22-year-old Saudi national and former Texas Tech student, was convicted in federal court today of plotting to acquire a weapon of mass destruction and blow up home of former President George W. Bush, among other targets.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office, Aldawsari was in the process of gathering chemicals and other materials for an improvised explosive device -- occasionally emailing himself instructions on such points as "how to convert a cell phone into a remote detonator" and "how to prepare a booby-trapped vehicle using household items" -- when he was arrested last year.
Many of his plans he recorded in his journal, which no doubt made it easier to secure a conviction. For instance, he wrote about how he sought and won a scholarship that "will help tremendously in providing me with the support I need for Jihad." As if that weren't sufficiently clear, he continued : "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."
In another entry, he listed a "synopsis of important steps" that included obtaining a forged U.S. birth certificate; renting a car; using different driver's licenses for each car rented; putting bombs in cars and taking them to different places during rush hour; and leaving the city for a safe place.
Then, he conducted research on various targets, like the homes of U.S. jailers at Abu Gharaib prison, a dozen large dams in Colorado and California, and George W. Bush's Preston Hollow home. He sent himself an email reminder with the subject line "Targets."
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Aldawsari faces possible life in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for October 9.