A Saudi Arabian student who came to the United States with hopes of waging terrorist attacks was sentenced to life in prison by a federal judge on Tuesday.
Khalid Aldawsari, 22, was convicted in June of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction in plots to attack hydroelectric dams, nuclear plants, and the Dallas residence of former President George W. Bush. Prosecutors say he obtained many of the ingredients needed to make an improvised explosive device and wrote of his wish of becoming a martyr during a terrorist attack.
He was in the United States on a student visa, attending college in Lubbock, Tex. According to his own journal entries, Aldawsari won a scholarship but merely saw it as a way to further his violent ambitions.
The scholarship "will help tremendously in providing me with the support I need for Jihad, God willing," he wrote. "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." "Khalid Aldawsari came to this country intent on carrying out an attack, said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco in a Justice Department press release. "He then began purchasing ingredients to construct a bomb and was actively researching potential targets in America. Thanks to the hard work of many agents, analysts, and prosecutors, his plot was thwarted before anyone was harmed; he was convicted at trial and, today at sentencing, he was held accountable for his actions."
Law enforcement was drawn to Aldawsari after a chemical company and a trucking service each were suspicious about his order and reported it to authorities.
Aldawsari did not make any statement before receiving his sentence.