AWOL soldier faces new charges in alleged plot to kill soldiers in Texas

Story highlights

  • Naser Jason Abdo was AWOL from the Army when he was arrested in July
  • Prosecutors say he planned to kill soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas
  • New charges against Abdo carry a maximum life in prison if convicted
An AWOL soldier who allegedly wanted to attack other soldiers with a bomb and then shoot survivors now faces new federal charges that carry a maximum of life in prison.
A superseding indictment against Naser Jason Abdo charges him with one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, one count of attempted murder of officers or employees of the United States, two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal crime of violence and two counts of possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a federal crime of violence.
Abdo was arrested on July 27 in Killeen, Texas. Prosecutors allege he was in the process of constructing a bomb he planned to set off inside "an unspecified restaurant, frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood," according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Western District of Texas. According to court documents, Adbo had a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol, instructions on how to make a bomb and bomb components.
Abdo allegedly had gone to a local gun store to buy bomb components where he aroused the suspicion of a clerk who alerted authorities, according to law enforcement officials.
Abdo, 21, was absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
An earlier indictment charged him with possession of an unregistered destructive device, possession of a firearm by a fugitive of justice and possession of ammunition by a fugitive from justice. Those charges remain in effect, but prosecutors will proceed with the new charges contained in the superseding indictment first.
An attorney for Abdo, Dan MacLemore, said the judge had imposed a gag order. He did say that defense attorneys had received the new indictment and that they "are not surprised by the additional charges."