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U.S.: Soldier Arrested in Terror Plot

A Muslim soldier who went AWOL has admitted to planning a terrorist attack on Fort Hood. The soldier had weapons, disguise ready.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/29/2011, 9:53 AM / Last Update: 7/29/2011, 10:11 AM

A United States soldier has admitted to plotting a terrorist attack targeting military personnel. The soldier, Private First Class Nasser Jason Abdo, planned to attack Fort Hood, which was previously the site of a terrorist shooting carried out by a soldier.

Abdo, who is Muslim, had gone absent without leave earlier in the month from Fort Campbell in Kentucky. He was arrested near Fort Hood after a worker at a local gun store reported his suspicious behavior to police.

Officers who arrested Abdo found cutouts from the Al-Qaeda English-language magazine Inspire detailing how to prepare a bomb using commonly found chemicals. They also found a military uniform with Fort Hood patches, a gun, and a list of ingredients to prepare a bomb.

"Thanks to quick action by a Texas gun dealer in alerting local police to a suspicious character, and a prompt and vigorous response by the Killeen Police Department, we may well have averted a repeat of the tragic 2009 radical Islamic terror attack on our nation's largest military installation," said Representative John Carter (Texas). He added, "We now have an example of what works to prevent these type attacks, and as the coming days reveal more details about this attempt, we can determine better ways to thwart similar efforts in the future.”

Abdo had previously been in trouble for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan, arguing that deployment would contradict his Muslim faith. He nearly received a discharge as a conscientious objector, but the discharge was put on hold after child pornography was allegedly found on his computer.

In November 2009, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist, carried out a shooting attack on Fort Hood. Hasan murdered 13 and wounded an additional 32. He is scheduled to stand trial in March 2012.

Investigations after the shooting showed that Hasan had been in touch with Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki.