Video: FBI credits tipsters in thwarting terror plot

  1. Closed captioning of: FBI credits tipsters in thwarting terror plot

    >> from saudi arabia is due to appear in court this morning, accused of planning to launch terror attacks in the u.s. one of his possible targets, according to the fbi , was the home of a former president. pete williams has details. pete, good morning.

    >> reporter: willie, the fbi says this was no mere sting but was a long-planned terror plot moving toward its final stages to build bombs and identify targets. if not for the alert ness of a few people it might never have been discovered. three weeks ago the fbi says this north carolina company got what it considered a strange order from a texas college student for a chemical that can be used in making explosives.

    >> he placed the order the day after it was shipped we became aware of suspicious circumstances around the shipment. we immediately notified the fbi .

    >> reporter: the student used his real name to make the order. khalid al-dissari, from lubbock, texas. another tip came from a shipping company . he wanted the chemicals sent to the company office because hazardous materials couldn't be sent to his home. the shipping company tipped off police. the fbi told the city council it was a huge break.

    >> they consulted with us immediately allowing us to preserve certain covert investigative opportunities that ultimately neutralized what was absolutely a planned act of terrorism in the united states .

    >> reporter: it was such a covert investigation that al dasari never knew they searched his apartment, discovering he was on his way to building a powerful bomb. he wrote of planning to commit a terror attack in the u.s. since he was in high school in audit arabia, studying hard to qualify for government scholarships to come here for college. after mastering the language, learning tole build explosives and planning to target the infidel americans it is time for jihad. the fbi say he researched targets online. dams in california or colorado, new york streets for car bombs , even the dallas home or former president george w. bush .

    >> he wasn't communicating with anyone outside the united states . it makes him difficult to detect by law enforcement .

    >> reporter: he had not prepared a bomb or selected a target but if it hadn't been for the suspicions of the company that called the fbi he would be still working toward his goal.

    >> let's be glad it didn't go further than that.

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