Case Begins of Bomb Threat of Fort Hood
Police officers suddenly rushed the young man wearing a T-shirt, shorts and a baseball cap as he walked out of a motel toward an idling cab near a Texas Army post.
They ordered him to lie face down, took off his backpack and then questioned him in the back of a patrol car. Officers knew neither his name nor his background, but had tracked him since they were tipped off to suspicious purchases at a gun store.
“I was planning an attack here in the Fort Hood community because I don’t appreciate what my unit did in Afghanistan,” he can be heard telling a detective in a patrol car recording, played at a court hearing last month.
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim soldier who was AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., is accused of planning to bomb a Killeen restaurant filled with Fort Hood soldiers and shoot any survivors last summer. Jury selection was scheduled to start Monday at his federal trial in Waco, about 50 miles northeast of Killeen, the city just outside Fort Hood.
Abdo, 22, faces up to life in prison if convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, the most serious of the six charges on which he’s being tried.
He is not being tried in military court. Defense attorneys have not commented on a possible strategy but are not seeking an insanity defense. A gag order prevents attorneys from discussing the case publicly.
Killeen police began investigating Abdo after an employee from Guns Galore called July 26, saying a young man bought six pounds of smokeless gunpowder, shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a semiautomatic pistol — while seeming to know little about his purchases, according to previous court testimony and documents. Officers also learned that he bought a U.S. Army uniform and a “Smith” name patch from another store, but didn’t know his unit, according to testimony.
After officers tracked Abdo to a motel near one of the Army post’s gates, they detained him July 27. Authorities who searched his backpack and motel room say they found a handgun, ingredients for an explosive device and an article titled “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom.” An article with that title appears in an al-Qaida magazine.