“Two months later, Aldawsari wrote he was trying to produce an ‘intelligent bomb,’ and he was doing his best to reach his goal of jihad by ‘money, deeds, sayings and killing.'” How did he come to misunderstand Islam so drastically as to think that jihad had anything to do with killing? Islamic leaders in the U.S. constantly demand that we believe, on pain of charges of “Islamophobia,” that U.S. mosques teach an entirely benign, spiritual view of jihad. So why do Muslims in the U.S. like Aldawsari have so much trouble understanding this?
“A year later: Lubbock terror suspect Aldawsari awaits trial,” by Logan G. Carver for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, February 25:
A year has passed since a failed Texas Tech chemistry student from Saudi Arabia catapulted Lubbock into the international spotlight when he was arrested on suspicion of plotting attacks against the United States.
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 21, is accused of scoping out possible U.S. targets, such as the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush.
Federal agents arrested Aldawsari on Feb. 23, 2011, on a charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, starting a protracted legal battle scheduled to go before a jury in April.
His attorneys intend to use an insanity defense at trial, but a federal judge has ruled Aldawsari is presently mentally competent.
The affidavit supporting the warrant for Aldawsari’s arrest described some of the evidence collected by FBI agents through electronic surveillance, as well as two surreptitious physical searches of Aldawsari’s North Overton apartment “” in a building behind U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer’s district office and shared with a U.S. Army recruiting office.
Aldawsari’s personal writings and Internet search history show the evolution of a young man who first sought to perpetrate jihad, but continued to scale down the scope of his targets until his arrest.
He pleaded not guilty at his initial court appearance, and a federal grand jury indicted him about two weeks later….
Aldawsari, whom neighbors and a classmate described as an introverted loner, dreamed of coming to America from Saudi Arabia as early as high school, according to a journal entry discussed in court documents.
“I excelled in my studies in high school in order to take advantage of an opportunity for a scholarship to America. “¦ 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. I put my trust in God, for he is the best Master and Authority.”
Aldawsari came to the U.S. on a student visa in 2008, his expenses and schooling funded by a Saudi industrial corporation, according to court documents.
He completed an English as a Second Language program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., before enrolling in a chemical engineering program at Tech in 2009.
He was enrolled at Tech until he failed out of the program and withdrew in January 2011, according to court documents.
He then transferred to South Plains College and was enrolled as a full-time student at the time of his February arrest.
A former classmate and fellow Saudi told The Avalanche-Journal that Aldawsari didn’t attend any Islamic activities, nor Saudi activities, and neighbors interviewed at the time of his arrest said they recognized him, but seldom saw him around the apartment complex.
Of course he never attended any Islamic activities. Al-Qaeda manuals tell jihadis not to, so as not to arouse suspicion, and even if they attend them anyway, the other people who were there would never admit to the jihadi’s having been present.
The FBI began investigating Aldawsari after he attempted to purchase a large amount of the chemical phenol “” a legal chemical with legitimate purposes that can be used to make military-grade explosives “” from a North Carolina supplier….
Aldawsari wrote he had been inspired by the speeches of Osama bin Laden, and the September 2001 attacks had significantly changed his way of thinking, according to court documents.
In a July 2010 journal entry, Aldawsari wrote that he wished to create an al-Qaida cell called Jamaat Jund al-Islam and generate funding for advice from scholars and training from experts.
Two months later, Aldawsari wrote he was trying to produce an “intelligent bomb,” and he was doing his best to reach his goal of jihad by “money, deeds, sayings and killing.”
He wrote of leaving remote-detonated bombs in rental cars throughout New York City.
Through electronic surveillance, investigators learned Aldawsari conducted Internet searches and cataloged his results by sending them to himself in emails, according to court documents.
In October 2010, under headings like “Nice Targets,” Aldawsari listed 12 reservoirs or dams in Colorado and California, as well as the more general “hydroelectric dams” and “nuclear power plants.”
A February 2011 email titled “Tyrant’s House” listed the Dallas address of former President Bush.
Aldawsari’s final searches were of realistic dolls, altered at the neck with what might have been pipes or wires visible, and whether someone could take a backpack into a Dallas nightclub.
FBI Special Agent Michael Orndorff wrote in his affidavit that his training and experience led him to believe Aldawsari could have been researching how to use dolls to conceal explosives or other weapons and that he could have been targeting a nightclub with the intent of carrying in an explosive in a backpack….