Saudi accused in U.S. bomb plot competent to stand trial: judge

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 21, 2012 10:03 PM
Saudi accused in U.S. bomb plot competent to stand trial: judge

By Logan Carver

LUBBOCK, Texas (Reuters) - A Saudi student accused of plotting to build and detonate bombs against targets including the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush was declared competent to stand trial on Tuesday by a federal judge.

The ruling clears the way for Khalid Aldawsari, 21, to stand trial on April 30 in Lubbock, Texas, on a charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Aldawsari's attorneys last year filed intent to use an insanity defense and said he was incompetent.

Aldawsari underwent a competency exam at a prison medical facility in Missouri.

Based on the results, U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings ruled that Aldawsari understands the nature of the charges against him and is able to aid in his own defense.

The Saudi national, who came to the United States on a student visa, is accused of targeting several United States locations, including power plants, nightclubs and Bush's home in Dallas.

Aldawsari was arrested in February 2011 after he attempted to purchase a large amount of a suspicious chemical.

An FBI investigation uncovered bomb-making materials in his apartment, as well as emails and journal entries in which he discussed planning attacks.

(Reporting By Logan Carver; Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Tim Gaynor)