ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hassan Alqahtani had plans to walk across the stage and collect his diploma from the University of New Mexico on Saturday, and then he and his parents were going to Disneyland to celebrate the accomplishment.
Instead, the 27-year-old Saudi Arabian mechanical engineering student will be spending the weekend behind bars, charged in federal court with being a non-immigrant student visa holder in possession of a firearm. The criminal complaint also says Alqahtani had a list of people he planned to kill, which included UNM professors.
Alqahtani, who recently earned his bachelor’s degree from UNM, turned himself in to authorities on Friday afternoon. During his first appearance later that evening in federal court, Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen ordered that he be held through the weekend. He will have preliminary and detention hearings Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.