Saudi student Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, who has been arrested on charges of plotting terror attacks in the US, was radicalised by 9/11 attacks and Osama bin Laden, and had recently written about his murderous intent in his journal.
A federal criminal complaint detailed the 20-year-old's terror to-do list: A weeklong New York visit where he planned to rent cars, load each with a homemade bomb, park them in different spots during rush hour, and bolt the city "for a safe place."
The would-be jihadist, whose anti-US vitriol began in his teens, also used traffic cameras for real-time views of various city locations, the 13-page complaint alleged.
None of the New York targets was identified.
If convicted, the 20-year-old faces the possibility of life in prison.
The US justice department said in a court filing that investigators were made aware of Aldawsari on February 1 after a chemical supplier had been suspicious about an order he placed of toxic chemicals which can be used to construct explosives.
Investigators said the suspect seemed to have carried out research in order to find ways of concealing bombs in backpacks and children's dolls.
Investigators said that he ordered phenol, a toxic chemical that can be used to construct explosives, informing the supplier that he needed it for off-campus self-research.
He also purchased concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids - typically used to make a powerful explosive known as trinitrophenol, the complaint said.
The supplier was suspicious and contacted the FBI; Aldawsari cancelled the order later.
In a journal titled 'It is time for Jihad -- I put trust in God' recovered from his Lubbock, Texas, apartment, the accused said his attitude toward the US underwent a "big change" after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
He declared he was inspired by the speeches of bin Laden after the terrorist plot that destroyed the Twin Towers.
In an e-mail, Aldawsari clearly explained his motivation to detonate the homemade explosives: avenging US involvement in Muslim nations.
"One operation in the land of the infidels is equal to 10 against occupying forces in the land of the Muslims," he wrote.
The suspect e-mailed himself various targets considered for his attacks, including a February 6 missive about the "Tyrant's House" - his code name for Bush's home in Dallas. Another e-mail, titled "NICE TARGETS 01," listed a dozen reservoir dams in Colorado and California.
Aldawsari arrived in the US in 2008 on a student visa and enrolled at South Plains College close to Lubbock in Texas, said the justice department.
He came to Texas after deliberately pursuing - and winning - a scholarship that allowed entrance to the US, officials charged.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Public Affairs Council expressed its relief that law enforcement officials were able to disrupt an attempt to attack several targets by Aldawsari.
MPAC stressed that extremism is "impotent as a tool for creating change" and "morally bankrupt" while also noting the immense effects of peaceful revolution in the Middle East.
The group also encouraging citizens to work with law enforcement to report such incidents and noted that Aldawsari is innocent until proven guilty and deserves to have a fair trial.