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Entries in Naser Jason Abdo (3)

Friday
Aug102012

Ft. Hood Bomb Plotter Sentenced to Life in Prison 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WACO, Texas) -- The young serviceman convicted of plotting a massacre of his fellow soldiers near Fort Hood in Texas received dual consecutive life sentences today.

Naser Jason Abdo, 22, sat in a Texas court today in a bizarre mask made of white cloth around his mouth and a black mesh covering over his hair and face, a Department of Justice official told ABC News. The life sentences were handed down for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and for possession of a weapon in furtherance of a federal crime. Abdo got another 60 years for the attempted murder of "officers or employees of the United States," among other charges.

Abdo, a private first class, was convicted of planning to attack a restaurant full of soldiers near Fort Hood. He had gone AWOL from Fort Campbell in Kentucky after his approved status as a conscientious objector was put on hold while he was investigated for allegedly possessing child pornography.

He was arrested on July 21, 2011 at a Killeen hotel after arousing the suspicions of the staff of a local gun store when he tried to purchase smokeless gunpowder and shotgun and pistol ammunition. A handgun, bomb-making materials and an article from the Al Qaeda magazine "Inspire" called "How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" were found in his room.

Two days after his arrest, Abdo shouted "Nidal Hasan -- Fort Hood 2009," an apparent reference to the 2009 Fort Hood massacre in which Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Hasan, allegedly shot and killed 13 servicemen. Abdo had been previously accused of spitting blood, which he believed to be HIV positive, on his guards. He was convicted in May of several charges relating to the plot.

"Today's sentencing of Mr. Abdo is a conclusion to an investigation which defines what we hope to do every time, that is to prevent an act of terrorism before it occurs," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez in a release from the Department of Justice.

Nidal Hasan, the man who allegedly inspired Abdo's plot, was himself in military court Thursday where he was held in contempt for refusing to shave his beard per military standards.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Fort Hood Suspect Yells Nidal Hasan's Name in Court

Ben Sklar/Getty Images(WACO, Texas) -- When Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, accused of  planning a deadly bombing and shooting attack on soldiers at Fort Hood, made his first appearance in court in Waco, Texas, Friday, he yelled the name of accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan.

Hasan is facing the death penalty for allegedly killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 in an assault on Fort Hood in November 2009.

Like Hasan, Abdo may have taken some of his inspiration from Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born Islamic cleric who is among the leaders of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). One senior U.S. official told ABC News that after Abdo was arrested at a Killeen, Texas hotel Wednesday, Abdo mentioned the name of al-Awlaki.

Nidal Hasan had exchanged emails with Awlaki, according to U.S. authorities. Al-Awlaki is believed to have inspired several other terror plots in the U.S. as well, including the bungled Christmas Day underwear bombing of Northwest flight 253.

According to senior law enforcement officials, when police searched Abdo's hotel room, in addition to firearms, ammunition and bomb-making materials, they also found an article from a jihadi magazine produced by al-Awlaki's organization, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The officials told ABC News Abdo had apparently stashed in the room an article from the first issue of al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine called "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."

AQAP, a media-savvy affiliate of al Qaeda, has produced six issues of "Inspire" so far, each featuring praise for martyrs and instructional sections on firearms and explosives for the prospective terrorist.

Abdo was charged Friday with the federal crime of possession of a non-registered firearm in addition to previous charges of possession of child pornography and going AWOL from his unit. As he was being led from the courtroom, he yelled out, "Nidal Hasan!", "Fort Hood!", and "2009!".

Abdo, a Muslim soldier who was in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell more than 800 miles away in Kentucky, attempted to leave the military in 2010 after protesting the U.S.'s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In August 2010 he told ABC News he should not have to participate in what he called an "unjust war".

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Fort Hood Bomb Plot Suspect Arrested with Al Qaeda Magazine

Ben Sklar/Getty Images(KILLEEN, Texas) -- When police searched the hotel room of the AWOL American soldier accused of planning a deadly bombing and shooting spree outside Fort Hood, Texas, between the firearms, ammunition and bomb-making materials, senior law enforcement officials said they also picked up a possible clue to the soldier's motivation -- an article from a jihadi magazine produced by al Qaeda.

The officials told ABC News Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo -- who had been granted conscientious objector status over his Muslim faith --  had apparently stashed in the room an article from the first issue of al Qaeda's Inspire magazine called "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."

In addition to the magazine, one senior U.S. official told ABC News Abdo had also mentioned the name of one of the most high profile leaders of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), American-born Anwar al-Awlaki.

Abdo made his first appearance in court in Waco, Texas, on Friday where he was charged with the federal crime of possession of a non-registered firearm in addition to previous charges of possession of child pornography and going AWOL from his unit.

Al-Awlaki is considered by some U.S. security officials to be one of the most dangerous men in the world because of his ability to reach out through the Internet to so-called "lone wolf" jihadis who would attempt to carry out attacks on behalf of al Qaeda, but without any actual material support from the terror organization.  Al-Awlaki is believed to have inspired several terror plots in the U.S., from the deadly 2009 massacre at Fort Hood and the bungled Christmas Day airline bombing.

AQAP, a media-savvy affiliate of al Qaeda, has produced six issues of Inspire so far, each featuring praise for martyrs and instructional sections on firearms and explosives for the prospective terrorist.

Abdo, a Muslim soldier who's in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, attempted to leave the military in 2010 after protesting the U.S.'s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In August 2010, he told ABC News he should not have to participate in what he called an "unjust war".

"Any Muslim who knows his religion or maybe takes into account what his religion says can find out very clearly why he should not participate in the U.S. military," Abdo said then.

Days after the Army approved Pfc. Abdo's conscientious objector discharge, his release was put on hold and he was charged with having child pornography on his government-issued computer.  Military investigators had been looking at Abdo's computer files after he made "radical statements," law enforcement sources told ABC News.

After he was told he would face a court martial, Abdo went AWOL from Fort Campbell on July 4.  Though vocal in his protestations against the mission in the Middle East, Abdo did not make any public threats against the military.

But when he was discovered Wednesday, Abdo was apparently in the final planning stages of a deadly attack.  He was caught in part because a wary local gun store owner called police after Abdo visited the store to buy ammunition and gunpowder.  He was acting "suspicious," Guns Galore owner Greg Ebert told ABC News.

"There was clearly something wrong with him," Ebert said.  "We made a decision to call the police and fortunately it worked out."

After his arrest, Abdo admitted he planned to plant two bombs at a local restaurant frequented by Fort Hood soldiers and hoped to gun down any survivors of the dual blast, according to law enforcement documents obtained by ABC News.

According to the documents, military officials believe the incident "was likely isolated to the Fort Hood area and the suspect in custody, and that arrest of the suspect has mitigated any further threats related to this incident."

Abdo's former lawyer, James M. Branum, declined to comment for an ABC News report except to say on Thursday that he hasn't spoken with his client "in a long time."  Abdo now faces federal charges in connection with the alleged plot.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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