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."
Aldawsari faces possible life in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for October 9.