The blog of a college student from Saudi Arabia charged with planning terrorist attacks is a combination of occasional political tracts, mundane daily life and musings on the nature of existence.
The student, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, is a resident of Lubbock, Texas and a business major at South Plains College there. He was arrested on Wednesday by federal authorities and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
In the criminal complaint, the FBI says Aldawsari was researching methods of making bombs and looking for targets. The FBI notes he had acquired two chemicals used in making explosives, and had ordered a third, phenol, which is explosive when mixed with certain acids. The FBI said it traced him in part via the attempt to purchase the chemicals.
Aldawsari appears to be acting alone. His blog, according to the FBI, has one entry dated March 11, 2010, that says, 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 only in Your path, for You have no partner, and make me reside in the high heaven eternally forever...
On April 8, another posting says, 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.
But other blog posts in both English and Arabic reveal a more discursive bent. His last post, dated Feb. 16, says, I met April in the dawn, and it was a great memory to remember and celebrate the 24th anniversary. It isn't clear what that anniversary might be.
Prior to that, his last post was on Aug. 26. It is in Arabic, and seems to be a poem. It appears to say, When see the eye tearing blood/ You see within the hands sorrow and remorse./ When you are in the universe wandering and dreaming/ you live like a king wherever the dream takes you./ Yet the dreams stay in the mind always/ oh how did it seek and grasp...
Other postings from 2009 speak of his studies. In an August posting he discusses studying pre-calculus with friends. In another, there is a letter to a woman named Nancy who he says taught him English and whose classes he said he enjoyed. I just have a happy memory with you, he wrote. He also describes trying to buy a used car in the U.S.
The number of postings Aldawsari wrote fell off after the first year. There are 30 posts in 2009, and only five in 2010, and the one this year.
FBI says his written journal is more direct and militant. According to the criminal complaint, Aldawsari was planning terrorist attacks for some time. One of the entries, written in Arabic, says. One entry says in part, as translated, 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.
Aldawsari's journal also says he wished to create a terrorist group, and that he wanted to obtain a forged birth certificate so he could apply for a U.S. passport and driver's license. He had also emailed himself a list of potential targets. Besides infrastructure, such as power plants and dams, there was one note that contained the address of Former President George W. Bush's home in Dallas, with the subject line Tyrant's House.
Aldawsari will appear in court again on April 11. If convicted he could be sentenced to life in prison.
To contact the reporter responsible for this story call (646) 461 6917 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.