Khalid Aldawsari, is seen in this Lubbock County, Texas, Sheriff's Office booking photograph on February 24, 2011.

The trial of a Saudi man accused of buying chemicals online to use in a bomb is due to begin.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari's trial on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction begins Thursday in Amarillo, Texas. The 22-year-old former Texas Tech University chemical engineering student faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Aldawsari was legally in the U.S. on a student visa. He was arrested in February 2011 after federal agents secretly searched his West Texas apartment and found bomb-making chemicals, wiring, a hazmat suit and clocks.

He has pleaded not guilty. Court records show his attorneys plan to use an insanity defense.

Authorities were tipped off by a North Carolina company after Aldawsari allegedly purchased chemicals online. - Sapa-AP