by Florian Flade
A Saudi student living in Texas is accused of plotting a terrorist attack inside the United States. His apparent target list included former President George W.Bush, US-Soldiers who have served in Abu Ghraib and Dallas Night Clubs. On his blog the Saudi Chemistry student left some interesting entries, drawing the path to radicalization of just the latest of America´s al-Qaida inspired “Lone Wolves of Terror”.
From the Online traces Khalid Ali-M al-Dawsari (or Khalid Alim al-Dosari), a 21 year-old Saudi national and student of Chemical Engineering, left behind, he does not seem to fit into the common profile of a Jihadi Terrorist. On his blog, Khalid wrote about life, about girls he admired, about poetry and how he felt starting a major-student´s life in America. Then, out of the sudden al-Dawsari was talking about Jihad and martyrdom.
The FBI investigated the Saudi student and arrested Khalid al-Dawsari yesterday on charges of terrorism. He is now accused of plotting a attack with a weapon of mass destruction inside the United States. Counter-terrorism officials believe al-Dawsari planned on producing explosives with obtained chemicals and then targeting places inside the US – possibly former President George W. Bush in his Dallas residence.
On his blog, Khalid al-Dawsari, who will appear in court tomorrow, left some interesting traces about his life in the US, providing the reader with his thoughts about Americans and their way of life.
Khalid Alim Al-Dawsari came into the United States in September 2008 and joined a English-Language Program for second language students in October 2008. By August 2009 he finished the program and by then had gained enough language skills to enlist into Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock, Texas. He started his major studies in Chemical Engineering.
Soon after his arrival in the US, in December 2008, Khalid al-Dawsari had started a blog, a diary were he posted poetry and events that happened in his life. His first blog post though, was not about his move to the US or his studies at Lubbock TTU, but about a woman – a Italian actress and model named Anna Valle.
“Anna if there is just one great moon you will be my stars and rare moons. Anna, you are my universe which is the perfection with out human beings”, al-Dawsari wrote. The next day, the Saudi student wrote about a girl he had met in Texas. “My first time I saw her in real life was in a football game between my university Vanderbilt and University of Tennessee”, the blog entry reads, “I saw her there and she was the seats that under mine. She was gorgeous. She saw me in moments again and again. She looked at me repeatedly in few moments. It was something I will never forget…I just want her. I want her.”
During May 2009, when al-Dawsari was learning English in Nashville, Tennessee, he wrote about his dreams of becoming a Google employee. “This is an opportunity to be in the US to achieve my dream that I am working very hard and I am doing my best to catch it, that dream is mainly and simply to be an employee in google which is not impossible to achieve even if it is hard but it is still not impossible because there is nothing impossible for me and I can do it, yeah I can be an employee in google.”
While in the English-program, the Saudi student got to know other Arabic-speakers. Al-Dawsaris language partner though – was a woman named Sarah. In May 2009, al-Dawsari and the others made an academic trip to Siloam Springs in Arkansas. “I think Siloam reflects the volunteering which is a huge part of the American culture that I totally respect and admire”, al-Dawsari wrote on his blog about the trip, “In addition, the volunteers weren’t all Christians, white, …etc specifically they weren’t belong to one race or religion.”
Al-Dawsari liked to watch American movies. For him, they kind of reflected the American lifestyle. “I think this movie illustrate some of the American culture in the way that people pursue their happiness via money but that doesn’t mean all Americans would commit crimes for either money or happiness”, he wrote about a movie he saw.
In summer 2009, Khalid al-Dawsari thought about buying a car in the US. He did not know how to find a proper used car. Back in Saudi-Arabia he had watched some US shows about cars, especially the infamous “Pimp my ride” and now blogged about the things he observed in the US – “I think cars for Americans are like a wife, so the wife has to be beautiful, good family, pricy and precious.” Finally on September 19 2009, al-Dawsari bought a car, a Hyundai Sonata 2006 and registered it on October 5 2009.
The Saudi chemistry student obviously traveled back to the Saudi Kingdom in July 2009 for a short visit, sending his language-training partner Sarah a warm greeting from his Arabian homeland. In mid-August 2009, Khalid al-Dawsari arrived in Lubbock, Texas, were he became a student of Texas Tech University. “I arrived in Lubbock, TX one week ago”, al-Dawsari wrote on his blog, “Texas Tech University is very nice one and I like it. They have a good football team, so probably I will enjoy the city and the life here.” Apparently this is the housing complex al-Dawsari lived in.
For months, al-Dawsari´s blog had no new posts. Then, on March 11, the Saudi student posted a chilling all-Arabic message – “You who created mankind and who is knowledgeable of what is in the womb, grant me martyrdom for Your sake and make Jihad easy for me (…) make me reside in the high heaven eternally forever.” A month later, on April 8, Khalid al-Dawsari again posted a Arabic entry on his blog. “If this is the West´s version of freedom, and their peace policy, we have our own policies in freedom and it is war until the infidels (…) leave defeated.”
There is no hint given on why al-Dawsari´s blog postings suddenly turned into political and religious messages of hate and Jihad. What had influenced the then 20 year-old Saudi-Arab from September 2009 to March 2010 remains unknown.
In the following months the Saudi citizen Khalid al-Dawsari began research on the internet on how to build explosive devices, instructions on how to create a bomb detonator out of a mobile phone and how to produce explosives. Al-Dawsari sent several e-mails to his own account, containing documents and information on the chemicals necessary to manufacture a bomb. “EXPLO6″, he named one of the e-mails, “In the Name of Allah The Beneficent The Merciful. Nitro is more powerful than T.N.T.”.
Al-Dawsari also started to purchase tools via Amazon.com. On December 12 2010 he ordered a Weller SP23LK Marksman, 25 Watt soldering iron kit. A string of Miniature Christmas lights was then purchased also via Amazon on December 30 2010. When al-Dawsari´s apartment in Lubbock was searched by the FBI on February 16 2011, they found the lights he had ordered last year. The terror suspect also bought a 3,2 million volt stun gun, a battery tester ,wiring, a alarm clock and a precision screwdriver and large quantities of Chemistry Labratory equipment.
When the FBI raided al-Dawsari´s apartment a few days ago, they found several handwritten notes and a journal with some Arabic entries, indicating he planned to carry out a terrorist attack inside the United States for years. The events of 9/11 and the lectures of Osama Bin Laden apparently inspired the young Saudi student. He applied for a scholarship for America, al-Dawsari wrote, so the “Traitor of the Two Holy Places” (King of Saudi-Arabia) would finance his trip. “Financial scholarship will help tremendously in providing me with the support I need for Jihad”, the student states, “And now after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives and continuous planning to target infidel Americans, it is time for Jihad”.
On July 22 2010, al-Dawsari wrote in his diary, he wished to create his own al-Qaida branch, naming it “Jamaat Jund al-Islam”. In September 2010 he claimed he was doing his best in his effort to create a “intelligent bomb”. By then al-Dawsari had already picked several possible targets for his attack in the US.
“NICE TARGETS 01″, the Saudi named his e-mail listing numerous targets like 12 dams and reservoirs in California and Colorado. On September 22 2010, he wrote a document containing the home adresses of three American soldiers who had previously served in the U.S. military in Iraq and were stationed in Abu Ghraib Prison. Among other targets selected by al-Dawsari was a Nuclear Power Plant as well as New York City locations.
In the Texan City of Dallas, Khalid al-Dawsari had picked a high-value target – the address of a property owned by former US-President George W. Bush, a location the Saudi student called the “Tyrant´s house”.
On Feb. 1 2011, a chemical supplier reported to the FBI a suspicious attempted purchase of concentrated phenol by a man identifying himself as Khalid Aldawsari. According to the affidavit, phenol is a toxic chemical with legitimate uses, but can also be used to make the explosive trinitrophenol, also known as T.N.P., or picric acid.
Apparently al-Dawsari had already thought about how to hide and conceal the bomb he was about to build. On the Internet he searched for pictures of babies and realistic looking infant dolls. Just a few days ago, on February 19 2011, the Chemistry student searched for “can u take a backpack to nightclub”, “bakcpack”, “dallas night clubs” and “party in dalls” on Google.
This search triggered the FBI to step in and arrest the 21 year-old Saudi national. Today he was officially charged with preparing a terrorist attack in the United States.
Again it seems, America escaped a Jihadi terrorist attack by one of the al-Qaida inspired “lone wolves”, increasingly threatening the security of the United States.