Saudi man ordered to leave U.S. over Texas army base incident

By Jim Forsyth

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A Saudi national who prompted a four-hour lockdown at a U.S. Army post in Texas in November when he claimed to have a bomb in his car pleaded guilty to two federal charges on Thursday and agreed to leave the country in a deal to avoid more prison time.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery agreed not to sentence Mutasim Abdul-Aziz Alati, 24, to prison on condition he leave immediately and not return for the rest of his life.

This was part of a plea bargain that gave him credit for time served. Alati has been in custody since the Nov. 23 incident.

"The only thing you have to do to stay out of trouble in the U.S. is to stay out of the U.S.," Biery told Alati during a hearing on Thursday. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Wannarka told Biery that, as soon as his family in Saudi Arabia buys him a one-way ticket, Alati will be escorted to the airport and put onto a plane by an FBI agent.

Alati could have faced two years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges of evading authorities and illegally entering military property.

Prosecutors say Alati showed up at the main entrance to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and told military police he had a bomb in his vehicle. This prompted a high-speed chase through the post, located in San Antonio. 

He was apprehended and no bomb was found in the car.

Alati told the court he was "stressed out" by tests he was taking at the time at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.

"I was suspicious of all of the people around me," he told the judge.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Eric Walsh)