Day one of the Khalid Aldawsari trial started Friday. Aldawsari entered the courtroom looking disheveled. His shirt was wrinkled and his attorney had to help his straighten his collar.
The prosecution began opening statements outlining their plan for the trial. They presented an overview of Aldawsari's numerous chemical purchases and talked about his Saudi Arabian background. They discussed Aldawsari's journal writings about Jihad and Holy War. In these writings, he states that 9/11 was a "blessed assault" and that America "maybe deserved 9/11 and maybe it should happen again and again."
The defense said that there was actually no weapon or attempted use of a weapon in this case. There may have been intent, but Aldawsari was never able to produce it. Defense attorney Dan Codgell referred to his client as a failure numerous times, stating that he had failed academically, personally, and as a terrorist. The defense said that although the prosecution referred to Aldawsari as a lone wolf, he was really a loser alone.
Before the court recessed for lunch, three witnesses were called to the stand. Jay Gibson of Conway Freight originally discovered the shipment of the chemical phenol that Aldawsari had ordered.
Two employees of a Carolina biological supply company also took the stand to detail their discussions with Aldawsari about his chemical orders. Aldawsari was so insistent with the company that he was nicknamed 'phenol guy.' Aldawsari ordered 10 500 ML bottles of phenol from Carolina Biological. One witness testified that large universities typically only use one bottle a year. They said the FBI had instructed them to keep Aldawsari hanging with his orders so they would have more time to investigate.
Joseph White of the U.S. Department of State and Joint Terrorism task force testified about Aldawsari's student visa and the process he went through to obtain it in Saudi Arabia. Two FBI agents also took the stand depicting what they found in Aldawsari's home and the process they used to monitor his activities.
Photographs of Aldawsari's apartment were shown - locations where wires, soldering kits, a stun gun, broken down cell phones and alarm clocks were found, along with numerous chemicals and a hazmat suit.
Nine individuals took the stand after opening statements on Friday. The trial will continue at 9 a.m. Monday morning.
KCBD NewsChannel 11 will be inside the courtroom and will bring you updates throughout the day.
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