Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari was found competent to stand trial during a hearing in Lubbock on Tuesday. His trial is set to begin on April 30 at the U.S. Federal Building in Lubbock.
Aldawsari, 21, faces one count of Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction. If convicted he faces the possibility of life in prison. He is accused of gathering the materials needed for a bomb in his central Lubbock apartment.
A February 23, 2011 criminal complaint says Aldawsari's proposed targets included night clubs, hydro electric dams, and the home of former President George W. Bush. That same criminal complaint says Aldawsari's writings included a desire for Jihad. Aldawsari, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, was in Lubbock as a college student.
In the Tuesday hearing, both sides decided not to argue as to whether or not Aldawsari was competent. That's in stark contrast to November when defense attorneys requested a psychiatric or psychological examination.
At the time, the defense said Aldawsari, "appears to be suffering from a mental disease or defect or other mental condition." Also during that time, the defense argued that Aldawsari "seems to be suffering from severe mental disability including delusional visions and beliefs."
On Tuesday the defense seemed to be resigned to the outcome that Aldawsari would be found competent to stand trial. Both the defense and the prosecutors jointly presented a report from Aldawsari's mental examination in a federal facility in Springfield, Mo.
When asked if the defense would like to present anything else, Dan Cogdell said "We do not, your Honor."
U.S. District Court Judge Sam Cummings ruled that Aldawsari "does not presently suffer a mental disease or defect..."
Cummings further ruled in the courtroom that Aldawsari "does understand the proceedings against him... and can assist with his defense."
Cogdell did ask the judge to do one thing at the close of the hearing. He asked that medical report be sealed. And the judge agreed, so the psychological examination of Aldawsari will not be made public.
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