Discovery of suspicious package alerts FBI to bomb plot, leads to arrest
U.S. authorities say a Saudi national arrested in Texas for allegedly plotting terror attacks was caught shipping explosive chemicals through domestic trucking networks.
Law enforcement officials arrested Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a 20-year-old student, this week and charged him with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
According to an FBI affidavit, Aldawsari was trying to assemble the components needed to build chemical bombs. The affidavit alleges he bought the chemical explosive component phenol from a company in North Carolina and had it shipped through the FedEx system to a Con-way Freight terminal in Lubbock, Texas.
Con-way contacted police after receiving a suspicious package Feb. 1 addressed to Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a Saudi national attending college in the U.S.
“Con-way’s local management immediately flagged the shipment as suspicious,” the company said. “Con-way freight has been working closely with the local police and the FBI.”
Officials at FedEx said they also were cooperating with the FBI. FedEx officials could not confirm how the shipment of 10 500 milliliter bottles of phenol was transported from North Carolina to Texas but the charges and size of the shipment suggested it went through the FedEx Freight less-than-truckload network or FedEx Ground parcel network.
The FBI affidavit said Con-way officials told them 'no individuals at Con-way Freight have any type of relationship with Aldawsari that would allow him to utilize Con-way Freight as a shipping locaiton, and that Aldawsari has never worked at Con-way.
The FBI affidavit claims Aldawsari planned to bomb several targets, including the home of former President George W. Bush and power plants.