Along with the Dallas home of George W. Bush. Aldawsari also “researched baby accessories like a stroller, diapers and a doll as a possible way to conceal explosives or weapons.”
(Reuters) – A Saudi-born student was arrested in Texas on Wednesday on charges he plotted to build and detonate bombs inside the United States. Following are details about him and the alleged plot from an FBI affidavit released on Thursday by the Justice Department.
– Khalid Aldawsari was born in Saudi Arabia on April 24, 1990, and came to the United States on a student visa in September 2008. He took English language classes for a year and attended Texas Tech University where he majored in chemical engineering from August 2009 until last month. He then transferred to South Plains College to major in business.
– FBI agents received on February 1 a tip from a chemical supply company, Carolina Biological Supply in North Carolina, after Aldawsari tried to order 10 500-ml bottles of concentrated phenol, a chemical that can be used to make the explosive picric acid. A freight company also called police after he tried to have the chemicals delivered there.
Saving untold lives. Barrons has more, including a press release from the shipping company, Con-way.
– After receiving the tips, the FBI conducted an authorized review of his e-mail communications and a surreptitious search of his Texas apartment. They discovered he had successfully bought nitric acid and sulfuric acid, other materials to build a bomb, obtained directions on how to turn a cell phone into a remote detonator, and had drawn up lists of potential targets.
– FBI agents also found journal belonging to Aldawsari in which he said that he had planned to commit an attack inside the United States for years and that he was inspired by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s speeches. He also listed in the journal the steps he needed to take to carry out an attack, including getting fake U.S. documents, renting cars and placing the vehicles with bombs in them at different locations during rush hour.
– The list of targets for his alleged plot included the address in Dallas for former President George W. Bush, 12 reservoirs and dams in California and Colorado, nuclear power plants, New York City and a Dallas night club. He also researched baby accessories like a stroller, diapers and a doll as a possible way to conceal explosives or weapons….
More, including details on Aldawsari’s attempts to get chemicals: “FBI charges Saudi in alleged terrorism plot,” by Richard Serrano for the Los Angeles Times, February 24:
Aldawsari, 20, described nuclear power plants as “nice targets” and collected the names and home addresses of three former U.S. military officers from the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where inmates were tortured and humiliated, according to an FBI affidavit unsealed Thursday.
Aldawsari described on his “fromfaraway90” blog his journey to the Texas Panhandle on a financial scholarship and student visa, “providing me with the support I need for jihad,” the FBI said. […]
… Aldawsari’s arrest can be tied to a Feb. 1 telephone call from a company in Burlington, N.C.
Jim Parrish, president and chief executive of Carolina Biological Supply Co., said that in late January Aldawsari attempted to purchase phenol, a chemical routinely used in college-level organic chemistry classes. “One day after shipping the product, we became aware that the order was suspicious,” he said. “We immediately notified the FBI and ordered the product returned to us.”
Ten 500-millimeter bottles of 80%-concentration phenol, which can be used to make the explosive trinitrophenol, had been bought for $434.57 on Aldawsari’s debit card, and were to have arrived via FedEx.
FBI Special Agent Michael N. Orndorff said in the affidavit that he asked a company employee to call Aldawsari, who told them that he wanted the phenol for “off-campus, personal research.”
Next, Orndorff said, he phoned Aldawsari, pretending to be another company employee, and Aldawsari said “he was conducting research into cleaners which contained phenol for the purpose of reducing their odor.” He said he hoped the research would get him into a larger university.
Aldawsari phoned the company back, complaining of his “frustration and displeasure” and hinting that he would obtain the phenol somewhere else.
Two searches of Aldawsari’s apartment allegedly turned up sulfuric and nitric acids; glass beakers and flasks; wiring from miniature Christmas tree lights; a hazmat suit and gas mask; a 3.2-million-volt stun gun; a battery tester; and an Elgin alarm clock. Some of the items were purchased on Amazon.com.
The FBI also reviewed his blog and e-mails, most of which Orndorff said Aldawsari sent to himself as notes. He allegedly considered hiding some bombs in the necks of dolls, then placing the toys in rental cars to be detonated by remote control during rush hour….