Texas-Sized Jihadi Plot Foiled

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on February 25, 2011

A 20-year-old Saudi Arabian has been arrested and charged with planning an Islamist bomb plot. The scary thing is that Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a student visa holder studying business at South Plains College in Texas, was in the country perfectly legally. Originally, he enrolled at Texas Tech to study chemical engineering.

The foreign student bought chemicals used in explosives from several chemical supply companies. One reported his purchases. He'd already bought concentrated nitric acid and concentrated sulfuric acid. The order that aroused suspicions was for phenol, which goes in trinitrophenol, or TNP. Officials say Aldawsari planned to put explosives in baby dolls and detonate them at dams, nuclear plants, former President George W. Bush's Dallas home, and the homes of Americans who formerly served in the military at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Federal authorities found Aldawsari's radical Islamist rants like this: "After mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for jihad." His Osama bin Laden-inspired hate spewed out from his blog: "You who created mankind grant me martyrdom for your sake and make jihad easy for me only in your path."

A serious student? Well, Aldawsari has been serious about at least one thing: Learning the chemistry of terrorism – and applying that knowledge toward jihadi ends. He seriously hates America. He seriously believes in Islamism, which is an ideology at odds with core American principles and ideals. And he, apparently, was prepared to wage jihad against innocent Americans.

How many more Aldawsaris are there quietly studying on American campuses? Saudi Arabia has ranked pretty high in receipt of F-1 student visas. It ranked 8th in 2008, receiving more than 8,000 visas that year alone.

And quiet but radical foreign students – whom the Rep. Jeff Flakes of the world want to give automatic green cards to -- can grow up to be evil masterminds, minions, and martyr-wannabes, just like convicted physician Rafiq Sabir of Boca Raton, Fla., who conspired to treat Al Qaeda patients so they could get back in the fight against the United States.

It might be a good idea to reread the 9/11 Commission's staff report on terrorist travel. And it might be a good idea to scrutinize the ideology of visa applicants a whole lot more thoroughly.