Man to Have Hearing in Dallas Bomb Plot

By Lita Beck
|  Sunday, Oct 4, 2009  |  Updated 5:30 PM CDT
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Man to Have Hearing in Dallas Bomb Plot

AP

Federal prosecutors say 19-year-old Hosam Smadi attempted to bomb Fountain Place, a downtown Dallas skyscraper.

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A man accused of trying to bomb a downtown Dallas skyscraper will appear in court before a federal judge Monday.

Hosam Smadi, a 19-year-old Jordanian national, is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

A federal judge will decide Monday if there is enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury.

Smadi was arrested Sept. 24 after he allegedly parked a sport utility vehicle he believed had a bomb inside in a parking garage under Fountain Place.

Undercover FBI agents provided Smadi with the vehicle and device he believed was a car bomb, according to investigators.

"I will plant (the bomb) in the ... foundations ... exactly under the building," Smadi allegedly told the agents. "When it explodes, it will shake the foundations so that the building, if it is heavy in weight, tons, all that will come down."

Investigators said Smadi's postings on extremist Web sites brought him to the FBI's attention.

Friends and family told the Dallas Morning News that his arrest was baffling. They described Smadi to the newspaper as a troubled teenager who was devastated by the death of his mother from a brain tumor and came to the United States two years ago on a valid visa for a fresh start.

Smadi's relatives told the newspaper that Smadi, who attended a Baptist school through the ninth grade, had even thought about converting to Christianity after he came to America. They said federal agents enticed him into the bomb plot.

But Smadi's father told the Dallas Morning News that he noticed a change in his son when he visited him in April and was worried. While he thought about reporting his concerns to Jordanian intelligence officials, he said he thought it was just "a whim."

"I should have reported that I saw a change in my son's behavior," Maher Smadi told the newspaper. "I think if I did that, I would have saved him."

Maher Smadi told the newspaper he and his family have never been supporters of terrorism and now regrets sending his eldest son to the United States.

Get More: The Dallas Morning News

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