I have provide you with a copy of the press release that the United States Department of Justice issued earlier today to announce the arrest of Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a young man described as a 20 year old citizen of of Suadi Arabia and a resident of Lubbock, Texas.
Here is a photo of this “student”
AP – Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, is shown in this undated photo made available by the Lubbock County Sheriff’s …
ADAM GOLDMAN and BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press Adam Goldman And Betsy Blaney, Associated Press – 53 mins ago
There is nothing remarkable about his appearance. If you passed him on the street you probably would not have paid him any attention.
Yet according to the FBI and the Department of Justice, he entered the United States two years ago, at the age of 18, determined to carry out a terrorist attack in our nation that would maximize the number of casualties.
Under criminal law, the issue of “premeditation” is a major issue. Did the criminal plan to commit a crime in advance or did things just happen spontaneously? In the case of Mr. Aldawsari I want you to consider this passage from the DOJ press release:
FBI agents also found a notebook at Aldawsari’s residence that appeared to be a diary or journal. According to the affidavit, excerpts from the journal indicate that Aldawsari had been planning to commit a terrorist attack in the United States for years. One entry describes how Aldawsari sought and obtained a particular scholarship because it allowed him to come directly to the United State and helped him financially, which he said “will help tremendously in providing me with the support I need for Jihad.” The entry continues: “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.”
Isn’t it interesting that he was provided with a scholarship? I would love to know why he was provided with a scholarship and who provided it. If it was provided by an individual or agency in his country or some other country, then I would want to know if they had any idea about his true intentions. If the scholarship funding came from the United States I would also like to know why a foreign student was provided with a scholarship when so many bright and motivated American students are finding it increasingly difficult to pay for their college educations.
What is also worth considering is the fact that Aldawsari apparently committed visa fraud. He had to have lied on his application for the student visa he used to enter the United States. Although he is relatively young, he clearly understood how to create a false identity for himself and how to game the visa process. Among the other questions that I am all but certain that the FBI and that the prosecutors have to be concerned with is to determine who may have providing coaching to this alleged terrorist.
While the press release has not mentioned all of the potential charges that can and may be ultimately brought against him, it would certainly appear that it would be entirely appropriate for him to be charged with visa fraud in support of terrorism. Under the laws of our country, anyone who commits visa fraud (provides false information about a material fact on an application for a visa) is committing a felony.
Here is a quick course in visa fraud as it appears on the website of the United States Department of State website:
What is a visa?
The U.S. visa is a document, obtained at any U.S. embassy or consulate, granting a non-U.S. traveler permission to apply for admission into the United States at a port of entry. It is not a guarantee of entry into the United States. Department of Homeland Security inspectors determine if, and for how long, an alien is admitted. To learn more about applying for a U.S. visa, visit Destination USA.
There are two basic types of visas:
Immigrant visa (IV) — Immigrant visas are for people who intend to live permanently in the United States, as provided by the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Nonimmigrant visa (NIV) — Nonimmigrant visas are for people who wish to visit the United States temporarily–for
tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, or study. Some
applicants intend to abuse their nonimmigrant visas by remaining in the United States illegally.
What are typical types of visa fraud?
? The sale, provision, or transfer of otherwise legitimate visas
? Misrepresentation of reasons for traveling
? Forgery or alteration of a visa
Who commits visa fraud and why?
? Unlawful immigrants for a variety of reasons, most commonly including:
— Economic considerations
— Flight from prosecution
— Facilitation of narcotics and terrorist operations
? Brokers and smugglers in the furtherance of other crimes
? Federal employees, usually for monetary gain
Visa fraud and related statutes include:
? 18 USC 1546 Fraud and Misuse of Visas, Permits, and Other Documents
? 18 USC 1001 False Statements or Entries Generally
? 18 USC 1028 Fraud in Connection with Identification Documents
? 18 USC 201 Bribery of Public Officials
? 18 USC 371 Conspiracy to Commit Offense or to Defraud the United States
Penalties for Passport and Visa Fraud
Passport and visa fraud are federal felonies. Penalties are:
? 10 years (for a first offense if not tied to terrorism or drug trafficking)
? 15 years for fraud with other criminal links
? 20 years for fraud related to drug trafficking
? 25 years for fraud related to international terrorism
It has been estimated that there are a minimum of 5 million foreign nationals (aliens) in our country who have violated the terms of their admission into the United States. They may have overstayed their authorized period of admission, they may have obtained unlawful employment, they may have failed to show up to attend a school they were admitted to attend or failed to report for a job they were admitted to work at. A number of terrorists who were previously identified as having entered the United States and then violated the terms of their admission. Yet in order to seek to locate and arrest these visa violators, the DHS (Department of Homeland Surrender) has purportedly assigned fewer than 300 special agents of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to deal with this massive number of illegal aliens who live and work in communities throughout the United States.
Several months ago I was interviewed by Casey Wian of CNN when he did a report entitled, “Tracking Down Visa Violators.”
Here is a link to this excellent report:
On May 10, 2010 I was interviewed by Daniel Gonzalez, a reporter for the Arizona Republic for an article he wrote for his newspaper that was entitled, U.S. not cracking down on immigrants with expired visas.” You can read this news report at:
On May 11, 2006 I was called to provide testimony before a Congressional hearing that was conducted by the House Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
The title of that hearing was:
CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?”
Clearly the effective enforcement of the immigration laws and the effective screening of foreign students and others intending to enter our country must be a component of our nation’s much ballyhooed “War on Terror.”
However, ICE and the DHS were not even mentioned in the DOJ press release about the arrest of the alleged terrorist who was assembling chemicals and equipment to launch what might well have been a devastating attack on our nation.
My dad used to tell me that there are no mistakes in life, only lessons if we learn from those things that go wrong.
Time and again international terrorists are arrested by our officials as they are in the midst of planning to carry out an attack or after an attack failed. Yet the visa process is apparently flawed and their is no integrity to the immigration system. The attack that is the focus of this case was not thwarted by brilliant police work or by our intelligence agencies doing what they are paid to do. This attack was thwarted by someone at a freight forwarding company notifying the police about suspicious materials being ordered by the suspect in this case. Once alerted by the sharp employee at that company, the federal agencies of the JTTF which, undoubtedly included ICE special agents, an investigation was launched and the plot was unraveled and thwarted.
Once again it was a bit of luck and the willingness of a civilian to alert authorities that protected our nation and our citizens.
The alleged terrorist had compiled a list of potential targets that were scattered around the United States- again to quote from the press release:
According to the affidavit, Aldawsari conducted research on various targets and e-mailed himself information on these locations and people. One of the documents he sent himself, with the subject line listed as “Targets,” allegedly contained the names and home addresses of three American citizens who had previously served in the U.S. military and had been stationed for a time at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
In another e-mail titled “NICE TARGETS 01,” Aldawsari allegedly sent himself the names of 12 reservoir dams in Colorado and California. In another e-mail to himself, titled “NICE TARGETS,” he listed two categories of targets: hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants. On Feb. 6, 2011, the affidavit alleges, Aldawsari sent himself an e-mail titled “Tyrant’s House,” in which he listed the Dallas address for former President George W. Bush. The affidavit also alleges that Aldawsari conducted research that could indicate his consideration of the use of infant dolls to conceal explosives and possible targeting of a nightclub with an explosive concealed in a backpack.
The affidavit also alleges that Aldawsari created a blog in which he posted extremist messages. In one posting, he expressed dissatisfaction with current conditions of Muslims and vowed jihad and martyrdom. “You who created mankind….grant me martyrdom for Your sake and make jihad easy for me only in Your path,” he wrote.
A final thought- if you consider how Aldawsari planned to obtain driver’s licenses in false names and even procure a counterfeit United States birth certificate, you realize how much identity documents need to be considered an integral part of national security but still are not being addressed the way that they need to be.
Here is that passage from the press release:
In another entry, Aldawsari allegedly wrote that he was near to reaching his goal and near to getting weapons to use against infidels and their helpers. He also listed a “synopsis of important steps” that included obtaining a forged U.S. birth certificate; renting a car; using different driver’s licenses for each car rented; putting bombs in cars and taking them to different places during rush hour; and leaving the city for a safe place.
The various law enforcement officers who have been involved in this case have much to be proud of. They have certainly earned our gratitude, but clearly, the “All Clear” has not sounded, nor is it likely to sound for some time to come.
Each time a vulnerability is discovered as counterterrorism investigations are conducted, our leaders need to find ways of trying to make certain that history does not repeat itself. We need to turn these discoveries into lessons, the way my dad would have advised me.
Because or the long standing failures to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity our nation and our citizens remain exposed to serious threats.
This must stop!
Nothing less than the survival of our nation and our citizens hang in the balance!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!
We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”
The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. I implore you to resolve this year to get involved!
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!
If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!
Please check out my website:
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Texas Resident Arrested on Charge of Attempted Use of
Weapon of Mass Destruction
Suspect Allegedly Purchased Bomb Materials and Researched U.S. Targets
WASHINGTON – Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and
resident of Lubbock, Texas, was arrested late yesterday by FBI agents in
Texas on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass
destruction in connection with his alleged purchase of chemicals and
equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and his
research of potential U.S. targets.
The arrest and the criminal complaint, which was unsealed in the
Northern District of Texas, were announced by David Kris, Assistant
Attorney General for National Security; James T. Jacks, U.S. Attorney
for the Northern District of Texas; and Robert E. Casey Jr., Special
Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Field Division.
Aldawsari is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Lubbock at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning.
Aldawsari, who was lawfully admitted into the United States in
2008 on a student visa and is enrolled at South Plains College near
Lubbock, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine
if convicted of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Aldawsari
has been researching online how to construct an IED using several
chemicals as ingredients.
He has also acquired or taken a substantial step toward
acquiring most of the ingredients and equipment necessary to construct
an IED and he has conducted online research of several potential
targets, the affidavit alleges.
In addition, he has allegedly described his desire for violent jihad and martyrdom in blog postings and a personal journal.
“As alleged in the complaint, Aldawsari purchased ingredients to
construct an explosive device and was actively researching potential
targets in the United States.
Thanks to the efforts of many agents, analysts and prosecutors,
this plot was thwarted before it could advance further,” said Assistant
Attorney General Kris. “This case serves as another reminder of the
need for continued vigilance both at home and abroad.”
“Yesterday’s arrest demonstrates the need for and the importance of
vigilance and the willingness of private individuals and companies to
ask questions and contact the authorities when confronted with
Based upon reports from the public, Aldawsari’s plot was uncovered and thwarted.
We’re confident we have neutralized the alleged threat posed by this defendant.
Those reports resulted in the initiation of a complex and
far-reaching investigation requiring almost around the clock work by
hundreds of dedicated FBI agents, analysts, prosecutors and others.
Their effort is another example of the work being done to protect our
country and its citizens. These individuals are deserving of our
respect and gratitude,” said U.S. Attorney Jacks.
“This arrest and criminal charge is a result of the success of the FBI’s
counterterrorism strategy, which is to detect, penetrate, and disrupt
terrorist plots in the United States and against U.S. interests abroad.
In this case, FBI Agents and other FBI experts worked
tirelessly to neutralize the imminent terrorist threat described in the
The public can be justifiably proud of the national security
expertise shown by the FBI in this investigation,” said Special Agent in
Purchases of Chemical Ingredients and Other Equipment
The affidavit alleges that 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.
The affidavit alleges that other ingredients typically used
with phenol to make picric acid, or T.N.P., are concentrated sulfuric
and nitric acids.
Aldawsari allegedly attempted to have the phenol order shipped to a
freight company so it could be held for him there, but the freight
company returned the order to the supplier and called the police.
Later, Aldawsari falsely told the supplier he was associated
with a university and wanted the phenol for “off-campus, personal
Frustrated by questions being asked over his phenol order,
Aldawsari cancelled his order and later e-mailed himself instructions
for producing phenol.
The affidavit alleges that in December 2010, he successfully purchased concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids.
According to the affidavit, legally authorized electronic surveillance
revealed that Aldawsari used various e-mail accounts in researching
explosives and targets, and often sent emails to himself as part of this
On Feb. 11, 2011, for instance, he allegedly e-mailed himself a
recipe for picric acid, which the e-mail describes as a “military
He also allegedly sent himself an e-mail on Oct. 19, 2010 that
contained information on the material required for Nitro Urea, how to
prepare it, and the advantages of using it.
The affidavit alleges that Aldawsari also e-mailed himself instructions
on how to convert a cellular phone into a remote detonator and how to
prepare a booby-trapped vehicle using items available in every home.
One e-mail allegedly contained a message stating that “one
operation in the land of the infidels is equal to ten operations against
occupying forces in the land of the Muslims.” During December 2010 and
January 2011, Aldawsari allegedly purchased many other items, including a
gas mask, a Hazmat suit, a soldering iron kit, glass beakers and
flasks, wiring, a stun gun, clocks and a battery tester.
Searches of Aldawsari’s Residence
Two legally authorized searches of Aldawsari’s apartment conducted by
the FBI in February 2011 indicated that the concentrated sulfuric and
nitric acids; the beakers and flasks; wiring; Hazmat suit; and clocks
were present in Aldawsari’s residence.
FBI agents also found a notebook at Aldawsari’s residence that appeared to be a diary or journal.
According to the affidavit, excerpts from the journal indicate
that Aldawsari had been planning to commit a terrorist attack in the
United States for years.
One entry describes how Aldawsari sought and obtained a
particular scholarship because it allowed him to come directly to the
United State and helped him financially, which he said “will help
tremendously in providing me with the support I need for Jihad.”
The entry continues: “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.”
In another entry, Aldawsari allegedly wrote that he was near to reaching
his goal and near to getting weapons to use against infidels and their
He also listed a “synopsis of important steps” that included
obtaining a forged U.S. birth certificate; renting a car; using
different driver’s licenses for each car rented; putting bombs in cars
and taking them to different places during rush hour; and leaving the
city for a safe place.
Research on Potential Targets
According to the affidavit, Aldawsari conducted research on various
targets and e-mailed himself information on these locations and people.
One of the documents he sent himself, with the subject line
listed as “Targets,” allegedly contained the names and home addresses of
three American citizens who had previously served in the U.S. military
and had been stationed for a time at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
In another e-mail titled “NICE TARGETS 01,” Aldawsari allegedly sent
himself the names of 12 reservoir dams in Colorado and California.
In another e-mail to himself, titled “NICE TARGETS,” he listed
two categories of targets: hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants.
On Feb. 6, 2011, the affidavit alleges, Aldawsari sent himself
an e-mail titled “Tyrant’s House,” in which he listed the Dallas address
for former President George W. Bush.
The affidavit also alleges that Aldawsari conducted research
that could indicate his consideration of the use of infant dolls to
conceal explosives and possible targeting of a nightclub with an
explosive concealed in a backpack.
The affidavit also alleges that Aldawsari created a blog in which he posted extremist messages.
In one posting, he expressed dissatisfaction with current conditions of Muslims and vowed jihad and
martyrdom. “You who created mankind….grant me martyrdom for Your sake
and make jihad easy for me only in Your path,” he wrote.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Dallas Joint Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from the Lubbock Police Department.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys
Richard Baker and Denise Williams from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for
the Northern District of Texas, and Trial Attorney David Cora from the
Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security
The charges contained in the criminal complaint are merely allegations,
and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
National Security Division