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Army private gets 2 life sentences for plan to attack soldiers

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Department Producer
updated 2:54 PM EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
Prosecutors say Naser Jason Abdo planned to detonate a bomb and shoot any survivors at a restaurant near Fort Hood, Texas.
Prosecutors say Naser Jason Abdo planned to detonate a bomb and shoot any survivors at a restaurant near Fort Hood, Texas.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Naser Jason Abdo planned to bomb a restaurant and shoot survivors near Fort Hood, Texas
  • He said U.S. operations in Afghanistan violated his beliefs
  • U.S. Justice Department praises the prosecution

Washington (CNN) -- Army Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo was sentenced to life in prison Friday for planning to bomb a restaurant in Killeen, Texas, when it was filled with soldiers and their families.

A federal judge in Waco, Texas, imposed two life prison sentences on Abdo for planning to detonate a bomb and shoot any survivors at the restaurant near Fort Hood.

When he was arrested in July 2011, police said he had a handgun and instructions for a homemade bomb. He also received a 60-year sentence for attempted murder of federal employees and firearms violations.

In May, Abdo was convicted by a federal jury for a series of crimes, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

The 22-year-old entered the Army and served as a paratrooper. However, he said he felt U.S. military operations in Afghanistan violated his Muslim beliefs.

He refused orders to go to Afghanistan and went AWOL from his base at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Abdo represented himself in court as he was sentenced.

After the proceeding, the Justice Department in Washington issued a statement commending the prosecution.

"This case serves as another reminder of the need for vigilance against extremists both at home and abroad," said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco, who oversees terrorist prosecutions.

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