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Relative says US life sentence for Saudi student unjust, shocking

Last updated: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:18 AM


Abdulrahman Al-Shamrani
Okaz/Saudi Gazette


RIYADH – The uncle of a Saudi student convicted by a US court of plotting to bomb former US President George W. Bush’s Dallas home has called his nephew’s life imprisonment sentence “shocking and heartbreaking”.

Turki Al-Dawsari told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that the verdict had put a strain on his parents, who suffer from diabetes and hypertension.

In June, the Federal Court in Texas found Khaled Ali-M Al-Dawsari guilty of planning to set off a series of explosions at Bush’s home, the houses of three American soldiers who served in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib Prison, 12 dams in Colorado and power generating stations. He was sentenced on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Khaled collected bomb-making material and researched possible targets.

“I am sorry for these bad actions, but none of these bad actions did harm to the United States,” Khaled told the judge on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old came to the US legally to study chemical engineering in Texas. He was arrested in 2011, after federal agents secretly searched his apartment and found explosive chemicals, wiring, a hazmat suit and clocks, along with videos showing how to make the chemical explosive TNP.

Court records show that Khaled had successfully ordered 30 liters of nitric acid and 3 gallons (11 liters) of concentrated sulfuric acid in December 2010.

His attorneys acknowledged that their client had intent, but they argued that he was a harmless failure who never came close to attacking anyone.

Turki said the family believes the verdict is unfair and tarnishes the image of the American justice system. They have urged the Foreign Ministry and National Society for Human Rights to help their son, who is said to be suffering emotionally and psychologically.

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