A Saudi student studying in the US has been convicted and sentenced for attempted terrorism. Khalid Aldawsari was tried in a federal court in Texas following his arrest in 2011, Christian Science Monitor reports. Among the targets of his attempted bomb-making were former President Bush, US soldiers who had been assigned to Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and various infrastructure targets around the US. Aldawsari received a life sentence in a federal prison.

Saudi student in US gets life in prison
for bombmaking scheme
Khalid Aldawsari, who was convicted in June, came under suspicion when he ordered chemicals. Prosecutors said the key to the case was the role played by citizens who contacted officials
Warren Richey

A Muslim student who had spent four years in the US on an academic scholarship from Saudi Arabia was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for attempting to assemble an improvised explosive device.

The bomb, prosecutors said, was meant as a means to wage jihad against the US government and its citizens on American soil. According to a journal seized by federal agents, he sought the scholarship to facilitate his travel to the United States and help him fund the attacks.

The student, Khalid Aldawsari, was convicted in June after a federal trial in Amarillo, Texas. Until his arrest in February 2011, Mr. Aldawsari was a business student at South Plains College, near Lubbock, Texas. He had also studied chemical engineering at Texas Tech.

According to Saudi Gazette, Aldawsari’s family in Saudi Arabia is ‘shocked’ at the length of the term. They make irrelevant arguments about the health of Aldawsari’s parents and seem to believe — along with Aldawsari’s attorneys — that because he failed in his attempt he should receive a lesser sentence. That’s not quite the way law works in the US. He was neither tried nor convicted of successfully blowing up anyone or anything: he was convicted for his attempts to make bombs.

Contrary to several past cases where at least allegations of entrapment by law enforcement officials have been raised, this case seems tight on all of its particulars.

Relative says US life sentence for Saudi student unjust, shocking

November:16:2012 - 10:47 | Comments & Trackbacks (5) | Permalink
5 Responses to “War on Terror: November 16, 2012”
  1. 1
    Jerry M Said:
    November:16:2012 - 12:21 

    He hardly sounds like a harmless failure. He did have at least some of the skills (a chemical engineering degree) and he had acccess to materials. It sounds to me as if it was only a matter of time before he would be successful. I wonder what his claim of being sorry means.

  2. 2
    John Burgess Said:
    November:16:2012 - 12:37 

    @Jerry M: Yes, this was not — according to the reporting — just a little thought experiment gone awry. He had motive and capability and was caught in media res.

  3. 3
    Aunty May Said:
    November:18:2012 - 15:08 

    He was convicted for making a bomb? How about the trillon dollar arm’s industry – each who contributes in the making and supply of bombs and other arms, should be convicted and sentenced to jail. In addition, charges should be laid against all those who are responsible for crimes against humanity, such as dropping drones on innocent people; invading and supplying countries with weapons of mass distruction.

    The wheels of justice are slowly turning. Watch what happens next.

  4. 4
    Andrew Said:
    November:18:2012 - 20:17 

    He certainly merited punishment in your country.

    But, was his punishment disproportionate?

    Do those who actually succeed in their murders receive less?

  5. 5
    John Burgess Said:
    November:18:2012 - 22:46 

    @Andrew: Sentences for criminal behavior are not uniform across the American states or even the federal districts. They all must follow broad guidelines, however.

    A case decided (on appeal) in this same time frame involved the Algerian caught trying to smuggle a bomb into the US from Canada in 1999. He received a 37-year sentence.


    Often, a sentence will vary depending on whether a person took a plea deal or fought to the very end and beyond. Showing a lack of remorse or responsibility can jack up a sentence considerably. Sometimes a murder will get a 15-year sentence; other times, he might be executed or receive a life sentence.

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