Around October 2022, Bader Alzahrani, 22, a Saudi national living in the US on a student visa, left the university where he was enrolled and was reported missing. Yesterday he was criminally charged for transporting a stolen school bus on January 17th. The suspect said he was trying to reach the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC.

The school bus was stolen from a parking lot across the street from an unoccupied home in  Livingston, NJ, where a break-in was reported on January 15th. After securing the residence, law enforcement saw several items presumably left behind by whoever had unlawfully been using the home, including a backpack. 

Within the backpack, they found a Saudi Arabian passport with Alzahrani’s name and journals containing English and Arabic entries. 

Arabic translators reviewed the Journals and translated the following excerpts from Arabic to English: 

  • “Why didn’t you slaughter the police officer who threw the Koran?”
  • “This is a war, and there will be losses and collateral losses.” 
  • “It is a war, and y’all [sic] started, feel the rage.” 
  • “Destruction of the new world and the earth will be destroyed from all sides.” 
  • “God, I am ready for your orders. I want to live the rest of my life to serve you and the religion.” 
  • “Blood, blood, destruction, destruction. Allah.” 
  • Jews control everything.” 
  • [Profanity] each and every Jewish person.” 
  • “[Profanity] you privileged whitey.” 

The Journals also included entries concerning “Jihad” and how Alzahrani did not intend to return to Saudi Arabia. Alzahrani faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.