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Father of Saudi student accused of WMD plot: My son is innocent - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – The father of Khalid al-Dawsari – who the US has accused of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction in a terror plot targeting former US President George W. Bush – has said that his son is innocent, and that he is not convinced of the US accusations against him.

Ali al-Dawsari told Asharq Al-Awsat that he does not believe his son is guilty of the charges laid against him by the US, and he stressed that his son’s purchase of certain chemicals – which the US allege was to be used in the production of a weapon of mass destruction – was part of his studies as a chemical engineering student. He also stressed that his son, Khalid, had obtained these chemicals legally, utilizing his student ID – which could be traced to him – and that he did not try to obtain these chemicals in an illegal manner.

Ali al-Dawsari, the father of the accused, told Asharq Al-Awsat that he is certain that his son is innocent of the charges that he has been accused of the wolf was innocent of the blood of Prophet Yusuf. He asked “does it make sense for my son to try to do something [produce a weapon of mass destruction] that states are trying to do?”

The US announced that the FBI had arrested Khalid al-Dawsari, aged 22, on a number of charges including planning to target former US President George W. Bush.

The indictment against al-Dawsari included charges of attempting to use weapons of mass destructions, and possibly targeting George W. Bush, as well as targeting nuclear power plants and hydro-electric dams, with these accusations being condensed into the charge of “attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.”

However the al-Dawsari family is not convinced of these accusations and Ali al-Dawsari told Asharq Al-Awsat that his son’s lawyer had informed them that his son had attempted to acquire these chemicals as part of his studies. Khalid al-Dawsari was studying chemistry at South Plains College in Texas on a scholarship on behalf of SABIC [Saudi Basic Industries Corporation].

According to Khalid al-Dawsari’s father, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat from Jeddah on Monday, the scholarship to America represented a dream come true for his son. He said “my son’s high school record was 99.32 percent, and this gave him educational opportunities at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Armco, and SABIC, but he preferred the latter because it gave him the opportunity to achieve his dream of studying in the US.”

Khalid’s father also denied that his son was a religious extremist, saying that his son had always been interested in learning about other people and cultures since his youth. He also revealed that Khalid al-Dawsari is a keen football fan, and had always had a love for American culture and history, was a keen fan of American movies and sitcoms, and even become interested in American football.

Khalid al-Dawsari has three siblings; two sisters and one brother. He received his education in primary and secondary schools throughout the al-Kharj region in Saudi Arabia, where he was known to be a bright and diligent student, and his excellent high school record meant that many opportunities were open to him when he left school.

Khalid al-Dawsari even appeared in a booklet put out by the al-Kharj region Department of Education. This booklet includes a picture of Khalid al-Dawsari, where he was described as one of the best students in the region and a future chemical engineer.

When asked about this booklet, Ali al-Dawsari asked Asharq Al-Awsat “is it rational for my son, who was 17 when this picture was taken, to make such plans upon arriving in America and attempt to possess a weapon of mass destruction and target George W. Bush? This doesn’t’ make any sense.”

Ali al-Dawsari also revealed that he had spoken to his son four days before he had been arrested by the FBI, and that Khalid al-Dawsari had informed him that he was intending to return to Saudi Arabia in a few months.

The US authorities have only allowed Khalid al-Dawsari to speak with his family twice since his arrest, and during these telephone calls he told his family that he is in good health, and asked them to publicize his case.

Ali al-Dawsari continues to strongly insist on his son’s innocence, saying that he is sure that his son’s intelligence and tolerance would not let him get caught up with such accusations.

Asked whether he had any message to the Americans, Ali al-Dawsari said that his son views the US society as being the “ideal society” and asked the American public for justice.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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