FBI refuses to disclose cost in Lubbock criminal case

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The FBI claims that allowing taxpayers to know how much was spent on test explosions last year would interfere with the investigation of a would-be terrorism case in Lubbock.

Khalid Aldawsari was convicted in late June on a single count of Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction.  As part of the case, the FBI conducted and video-taped a test explosion on October 28, 2011 at Quantico, Virginia.  After the conviction, KCBD NewsChannel 11 made a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) for "copies of receipts, invoices, or other proofs of payment directly related to the cost of conducting test explosions…"

It also made clear that KCBD NewsChannel 11 was not requesting copies of evidence.  "The FOIA request is strictly limited to those documents that would portray the costs incurred by United States' taxpayers for the aforementioned tests."

On Monday KCBD NewsChannel 11 received a letter sent by mail, dated August 10, from David M. Hardy, FBI Section Chief.  Hardy said, "I have determined that the records responsive to your request are law enforcement records... and that release of the information contained in these responsive records could reasonably be expected to interfere with the enforcement proceedings."

Mr. Hardy did not explain how revealing the cost of the Aldawsari case would get in the way of law enforcement.  Aldawsari is awaiting sentencing and faces as much as life in prison.

KCBD NewsChannel 11 has 60 days to file an appeal the FBI's refusal to disclose the costs.

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