A U.S. federal jury in Texas convicted a Saudi Arabian citizen Wednesday, June 27 of attempting to use chemicals to build a weapon of mass destruction to attack several targets, including the Dallas home of a former U.S. President.
The convict, who was a student at South Plains College near Lubbock, Texas, kept a journal that listed many targets. They included nuclear power plants, reservoir dams in Colorado and California, and hydroelectric stations. Evidence presented at his trial indicated he had been researching online how to construct an improvised explosive device, using several chemicals as ingredients, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He purchased ingredients and conducted online research on his potential targets, said an assistant U.S. attorney.
His plans were thwarted early in 2011, when a chemical supplier who had been contacted by him told the FBI he was worried about an attempted purchase of a compound called concentrated phenol, an ingredient in explosives. The convict was a legal resident of the United States, in the country on a student visa. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced in October.