Naser Jason Abdo

Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo

Naser Jason Abdo (also known as Nasser Jason Abdo; born c. 1990) is a Muslim US Army Private First Class who is currently being held without bond for possession of an unregistered firearm and allegedly planning to attack a restaurant frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood.[1][2]

Contents

Early life

Abdo grew up in Garland, Texas and attended Richardson Terrace Elementary School, South Garland High School and Berkner High School.[3] His parents divorced when he was 3 and he spent most of his childhood with his father, Jamal Rateb Abdo, [4] a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship who was sentenced to five years in prison and then deported back to Jordan after being convicted of soliciting a minor.[3][5]

Army

Abdo joined the Army in March 2009 and had applied for conscientious objector status in June 2010 arguing that being a Muslim prevented him from serving in Afghanistan. His pending discharge was put on hold when the Army discovered the images of child pornography on his government-issued computer.[4] At a June 15 hearing it was recommended that Abdo face court-martial.[2] He had been AWOL since July 4 from Fort Campbell, Kentucky[6] In an interview with Al-Jazeera TV which aired on August 21, 2010 (as translated by MEMRI), Nasser stated that "I don't believe I can involve myself in an army that wages war against Muslims. I don't believe I could sleep at night if I take part, in any way, in the killing of a Muslim."[7]

Two anti-war groups, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Courage to Resist, supported Abdo's conscientious objector bid.[8][5] In a statement for Iraq Veterans Against the War, Abdo wrote, "Only when the military and America can disassociate Muslims from terror can we move onto a brighter future of religious collaboration and dialogue that defines America and makes me proud to be an American."[8] Upon hearing of Abdo's arrest, Courage to Resist, which had contributed to Abdo's legal fees in the conscientious objector case, said in a statement that it had removed Abdo's profile from its website.[5]

Arrest

On July 27, 2011, Abdo raised the suspicion of the staff of "Guns Galore" in Killeen Texas by buying an unusually large amount of smokeless gunpowder,[2] three boxes of shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a pistol. A clerk notified the Killeen Police Department who, in turn, tracked Abdo to the America's Best Value Inn and Suites via the taxi that he had taken to make his purchase.[9][10] Guns Galore was the same store that Nidal Hasan bought a pistol used in the Fort Hood shootings.[11]

At the hotel room where Abdo was staying, three miles from Fort Hood's main gate, police found a handgun and the ingredients for an explosive device, including gunpowder, shrapnel and pressure cookers.[5] Also present was an article entitled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom" from Inspire magazine, the English-language publication of Al Qaeda.[12] According to Daniel Pipes of The Washington Times the "materials in Pfc. Abdo’s possession corresponded precisely to the “ingredients” listed in the Inspire magazine article on bomb-making." Abdo had also purchased a uniform with Fort Hood patches from a military surplus store.[13]

Abdo is the third Muslim soldier since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack to be charged with terror-related offenses. In addition to Nidal Malik Hasan's attack on Fort Hood, Sgt. Hasan Karim Akbar killed two officers and wounded 14 other soldiers of the 101st Airborne in a grenade and shooting attack in Kuwait at the start of the Iraq war.[14] According to ABC News, Abdo, like Nidal Hasan may have been inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Islamic cleric who is among the leaders of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen.[15][16]

Court hearing

In a court hearing on July 29, 2011, Abdo was charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device and has yet to enter a plea.[5] He was ordered held without bond.[12]

During the hearing Abdo shouted: "Nidal Hasan — Ft. Hood 2009"[6] in reference to the Army major Nidal Malik Hasan who is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood. Hasan, like Abdo, opposed fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan because as against his Muslim beliefs.[6] Abdo also invoked the name of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, a 14 year old girl raped and murdered by United States Army soldiers in Iraq.[5]

According to court papers Abdo "admitted that he planned to assemble two bombs in the hotel room using gun powder and shrapnel packed into pressure cookers" to explode at a restaurant popular with soldiers.[6] A federal Judge, after hearing testimony from the FBI, stated that Abdo could be indicted on additional charges.[17]

References

  1. ^ Johnson, Kevin (July 28). "AWOL soldier charged in bombing plan on Texas post". USA today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2011-07-28-awol-soldier-targets-fort-hood_n.htm. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  2. ^ a b c "News/International: U.S. soldier with bomb-making materials arrested near Fort Hood". The Hindu. Press Trust of India. 2011-07-27. http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2304553.ece. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Terror Suspect Grew Up in Broken North Texas Home". KDFW. July 29, 2011. http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/072911-terror-suspect-grew-up-in-broken-garland-home. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  4. ^ a b Manny Fernandez; James Dao (July 29, 2011). "Soldier Arrested in Suspected Bomb Plot Had Series of Disputes With Army". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/30/us/30awol.html. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Stengle, Jamie (July 29, 2011). "AWOL soldier defiantly shouts '09 suspect's name". Houston Chronicle. Associated Press. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7675833.html. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  6. ^ a b c d Ashley Power; Richard A. Serrano (July 29, 2011). "Fort Hood plot: Ft. Hood suspect cries name of defendant in 2009 rampage". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-suspect-fort-hood-20110730,0,4458783.story. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  7. ^ Muslim US Serviceman Nasser Abdo Talks to Al-Jazeera TV about His Refusal to Deploy to Afghanistan, MEMRITV.org, transcript, (video clip available here, Clip No. 2594, August 21, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "AWOL soldier Pfc. Naser Abdo defiant in first court appearance". KTRK-TV. July 29, 2011. http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/state&id=8278308. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  9. ^ Flaherty, Colleen (2009-11-05). "Killeen gun dealer credited with helping to foil terror plot". Killeen Daily Herald. http://www.kdhnews.com/news/story.aspx?s=58902. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  10. ^ "AWOL GI wanted "retaliation," talked of attacks". CBS News. July 28 2011. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/07/28/national/main20084818.shtml. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  11. ^ Businesses play key role in thwarting terror - USATODAY.com
  12. ^ a b Richey, Warren (July 29, 2011). "Accused Fort Hood plotter got bombmaking recipe from Al Qaeda". Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2011/0729/Accused-Fort-Hood-plotter-got-bombmaking-recipe-from-Al-Qaeda. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  13. ^ Pipes, Daniel (August 1, 2011). "Another Islamist soldier turns terrorist". The Washington Times. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/1/another-islamist-soldier-turns-terrorist. Retrieved 2011-08-02. 
  14. ^ U.S. soldier charged for planned attack - UPI.com
  15. ^ Fort Hood Suspect Naser Jason Abdo Yells Nidal Hasan's Name
  16. ^ AWOL Soldier Charged in Bomb Plot, Yelled Fort Hood Killer’s Name at Court
  17. ^ "Judge: Ft Hood plot suspect may face more charges"

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