An exchange student in the nation on visa from Saudi Arabia was arrested last week and charged with illegally possessing a firearm. He has also been accused of making a “kill list” of people he’d like to shoot, including some professors at his university, before returning to his homeland.
Hassan Alqahtani, 27, was scheduled to graduate Saturday with a diploma from the University of New Mexico. His parents, in the nation to watch their son’s graduation and go with him to Disneyland, did not watch their son walk on stage as he was held pending a hearing Monday. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen declared she “did not fall of the turnip truck yesterday” when denying a motion from Alqahtani’s attorney to let him walk since his firearm had been confiscated. “I know you could have more than one location to have a firearm,” she said.
According to the complaint, in August an acquaintance of Alqahtani submitted a tip to the FBI’s website saying Alqahtani had a list of people he wanted to kill, and it included the acquaintance and UNM professors. The list itself is not included in the complaint and it’s unclear which professors were on it. They were not named during the court hearing and no further details were provided about the list.
FBI agents interviewed the acquaintance, and he told them Alqahtani had a colored hand gun that he carried for protection. He said Alqahtani had told him his cousin had purchased the gun and given it to him when his cousin returned to Saudi Arabia.
According to the complaint, in mid-November a different confidential source reported that Alqahtani approached him and expressed interest in purchasing a gun.
“Alqahtani was interested in both purchasing the (confidential sources’s) firearm as well as purchasing an AK-47 rifle,” the agent wrote in the complaint. “Alqahtani showed the (confidential source) videos of a Saudi Arabian wedding with individuals shooting an AK-47 rifle. Alqahtani told the (confidential source) he did not like his old firearm and wanted to purchase another firearm before his family arrived.”
The timing couldn’t be worse for a Saudi national to illegally possess a weapon and a “kill list” following the incident in Pensacola, Florida, in which Saudi military trainee Mohammed Saeed Alshamrania shot and killed three people while wounding eight.
Regardless of the situation, it’s imperative that we keep firearms out of the hands of non-citizens. It’s bad enough when legal U.S. citizens acquire firearms and use them to commit crimes. When they’re used by those who are not legally allowed to possess them, it hearkens to the need for better enforcement of preexisting laws.
It is too easy for non-citizens and criminals to gain access to firearms. The left focuses on depriving law abiding citizens of their rights instead of seeing the real problem. This is one example of the system working properly to prevent a potential crime.
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