News / USA

Saudi Man Arrested in Texas for Bomb Plot

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, is shown in this undated photo made available by the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, is shown in this undated photo made available by the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011

A young Saudi man has been arrested in Texas for allegedly seeking to bomb targets in the United States, including the home of former President George W. Bush.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says 20-year-old Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a Saudi citizen, wrote in his journal that he had "mastered" English, learned how to build explosives, planned his targets, and it was not "time for jihad (holy war)."

Aldawsari was arrested late Wednesday on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

A Justice Department statement says investigators tracked Aldawsari's online activity using electronic surveillance.  The investigators report Aldawsari researched explosives and targets and often e-mailed himself information as part of the process.  The Justice Department says an e-mail titled "Tyrant's House" lists the Texas home of former president Bush.

The statement also says Aldawsari allegedly bought chemicals and equipment necessary to make bombs.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says President Barack Obama was informed about the operation prior to the arrest.  Carney said the incident "underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad."

Aldawsari could face life in prison if convicted.  He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday.

Aldawsari entered the United States lawfully in 2008 on a student visa.

Justice officials say some of the e-mails Aldawsari sent himself contained violent jihadist messages and indicated he sought a particular scholarship in the United States for the purpose committing an attack.

One e-mail allegedly contained a message saying "one operation in the land of the infidels is equal to 10 operations against occupying forces in the land of the Muslims."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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