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Judge recuses himself in case of Saudi accused of U.S. bomb plot

By Logan Carver

LUBBOCK, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas judge presiding over the case of a Saudi student accused of attempting to build and detonate bombs against targets including the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush has recused himself before the scheduled start of the trial.

U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings issued the order Wednesday without explanation, and it was unclear on Thursday whether the trial would be reset.

U.S. District Judge Donald Walter of Louisiana was appointed on Thursday to handle the case. The appointment was made by U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater of Texas.

Khalid Aldawsari, a 21-year-old Saudi citizen who came to the United States on a student visa, was scheduled to stand trial later this month on a charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

The Saudi national is accused of targeting several U.S. locations, including power plants, nightclubs and Bush's home in Dallas. He was arrested in February 2011 after authorities said he tried to purchase a large amount of a suspicious chemical.

The FBI said it uncovered bomb-making materials in his apartment, as well as emails and journal entries in which he discussed planning attacks.

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Eric Beech)