Naser Jason Abdo was arrested in Texas in July
Prosecutors said he planned to bomb a restaurant near Fort Hood
Abdo faces a possible life sentence with his conviction
A U.S. soldier charged with plotting to blow up troops from the nation’s largest Army post has been found guilty of a battery of federal charges, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Naser Jason Abdo was found guilty of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder of federal employees, and weapons charges, the U.S. attorney’s office in Waco, Texas, said. Prosecutors said the 22-year-old private first class wanted to bomb a restaurant frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas.
Abdo was absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, when he was arrested in Texas in July 2011. Prosecutors said he was in the process of building a bomb when he was caught.
The Muslim-American paratrooper had been granted conscientious objector status after refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. In May 2011, he was charged with possession of child pornography, and went AWOL the following month.
In a November interview with CNN affiliate WSMV in Nashville, Tennessee, Abdo said he originally planned to attack his own post, hoping to kill “a high-ranking member of my chain of command” who had served in Afghanistan. But he said he went AWOL after military police learned he had visited gun stores and bought a variety of tools he planned to use in that attack, including a cattle prod, handcuffs and shovels.
Instead, he turned his attention to Fort Hood, where another Muslim-American soldier, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, is accused of gunning down 13 comrades and wounding more than 30 others.
“I felt like the only way to freedom or justice was martyrdom,” Abdo told WSMV.