Published: Feb 25, 2011 4:39 PM EST
Updated: Feb 25, 2011 1:40 PM EST

LUBBOCK, Texas- A college student from Saudi Arabia charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction has made an initial appearance at a court in Texas.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari (al-duh-SAHR'-ee) appeared in the U.S. Federal Court in Lubbock on Friday. He has retained counsel Rod Hobson.

Judge Nancy Koenig asked the 20-year-old if he understands the charges against him and ordered him to remain in custody until an April 11 detention hearing.

Koenig said Aldawsari faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted.

The Justice Department says Aldawsari bought explosive chemicals online and planned to blow up dams, nuclear plants or the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush.

Aldawsari is legally in the U.S. on a student visa.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

A college student from Saudi Arabia charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction has made an initial appearance at a court in Texas.