The President infamous for placing foreigners on a pedestal for the superior family values has given us another gift that keeps on giving: Saudi university students.
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the number of students from Saudi Arabia dwindled in the United States.
In the wake of the revelation that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, the number of new students arriving in the United States plummeted from more than 4,000 in 2001 to 1,008 in 2005, according to the U.S. State Department.
But a program initiated by President Bush and Saudi King Abdullah has brought about 10,000 new students to U.S. colleges during the current academic year, bringing the number of Saudi students for the fall semester of 2006 to 10,936.
The previous high mark for Saudis studying in the United States was 10,440, in the 1980-'81 school year, according to the International Institute of Education, a New York-based nonprofit group.
An additional 3,000 Saudi students are expected for the semester beginning in January. Most of the Saudi students are fully funded by scholarships from their government.
Nail Al-Jubeir, spokesman for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., said the leaders of the two nations are committed to reversing the recent trend of Saudi students staying out of the United States.
"Hopefully, the goal is to get something like 20,000 in the United States in all fields," Al-Jubeir said.
In August 2006, 283 Saudi students were enrolled in Illinois institutions of higher learning, Al-Jubeir said. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale had the most with 56, followed by Western Illinois University with 45. Figures on other Illinois universities were not available.
University of Illinois officials declined to comment on the number of students at the Champaign-Urbana campus; a Saudi graduate student at the U of I estimated there are about 33 Saudi students there.
Al-Jubeir, who came to the United States with his family in the 1970s, said the Saudi students throughout the United States have been received very warmly.
"From all the 10,000-plus students, we have not received any complaints," said Al-Jubeir, 43, who calls himself a product of the Saudi scholarship program of the 1980s. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees at American University in Washington, D.C.
And here is what we get for our openness to the Religion of Bombs from the Kingdom of Hate:
WASHINGTON – Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and resident of Lubbock, Texas, was arrested late yesterday by FBI agents in Texas on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with his alleged purchase of chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and his research of potential U.S. targets.
The arrest and the criminal complaint, which was unsealed in the Northern District of Texas, were announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; James T. Jacks, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas; and Robert E. Casey Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Field Division.
Aldawsari is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Lubbock at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning. Aldawsari, who was lawfully admitted into the United States in 2008 on a student visa and is enrolled at South Plains College near Lubbock, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Aldawsari has been researching online how to construct an IED using several chemicals as ingredients. He has also acquired or taken a substantial step toward acquiring most of the ingredients and equipment necessary to construct an IED and he has conducted online research of several potential U.S. targets, the affidavit alleges. In addition, he has allegedly described his desire for violent jihad and martyrdom in blog postings and a personal journal.
“As alleged in the complaint, Aldawsari purchased ingredients to construct an explosive device and was actively researching potential targets in the United States. Thanks to the efforts of many agents, analysts and prosecutors, this plot was thwarted before it could advance further,” said Assistant Attorney General Kris. “This case serves as another reminder of the need for continued vigilance both at home and abroad.”
All be praised for their family values from south, really south, of the Rio Grande. Thanks for nothing Jorge.