By Elliott Blackburn
LUBBOCK, Texas (Reuters) - A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted a 20-year-old Saudi student accused in a bomb plot with targets including the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush.
Jurors determined federal authorities had enough evidence to take Khalid Aldawsari to trial on a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. If convicted, the former chemical engineering exchange student could face up to life in prison.
U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings issued a gag order in the case on Wednesday barring Aldawsari and attorneys involved in the case from talking to the media.
Federal investigators accused Aldawsari of investigating power plants, nightclubs and Bush's home and purchasing chemicals to build a bomb in his second-floor apartment across from the Texas Tech University campus.
Tips from a North Carolina chemical company and a Lubbock freight company alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to court documents. He was arrested February 28.
Aldawsari was in the United States on a student visa studying chemical engineering and business in Lubbock, according to court documents. Former roommates described Aldawsari as polite, private and not overtly religious.
But emails and journal entries released by investigators in court documents have the exchange student writing of religious war and of founding his own chapter of the terror organization al Qaeda.
He remained in the Lubbock County Jail on Wednesday. His attorneys late last week waived a detention hearing set for Friday.
(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Jerry Norton)