An AWOL soldier has been arrested after owners of a Fort Hood, Texas, gun shop alerted officials that he allegedly was plotting to attack the same military base where 13 people were killed during an Army major’s assault in 2009.
Pvt. Nasser Jason Abdo, who was AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., was arrested Wednesday afternoon after police responded to reports of a suspicious individual around the Fort Hood premises, according to Fox News
. At the time of his arrest, Abdo had weapons and explosives in a backpack along with alleged jihadist materials, according to another report, in the New York Post.
This was not Abdo’s first run-in with authorities. He also was being investigated because child pornography was found on his government-issued computer, said Fort Campbell spokesman Bob Jenkins.
Abdo went AWOL on the eve of his first deployment to Afghanistan early in July. After only one year in the Army, he applied for conscientious objector status. His superiors at Fort Campbell initially rejected his request, but a review board overturned the ruling later.
A source told Fox News that two other U.S. soldiers are being investigated as potential co-conspirators with Abdo.
News of the alleged plot comes less than two years after Army Maj. Nidal Hasan launched a shooting attack at Fort Hood. Hasan’s rampage left 13 people dead and wounded 30 others.
More than two dozen soldiers recently testified about the day they were gunned down at Fort Hood in proceedings to decide on Hasan’s fate. Three weeks ago, the post's commander ordered Hasan to face trial on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in the November 2009 shootings.
Legal experts say Hasan has few options to work with in his defense. He could hope that questions about his mental state would prompt a military jury to give him life in prison rather than death.
Or the defense could watch for legal errors that could overturn the verdict on appeal. Experts doubt Hasan will use an insanity defense, which is difficult to prove.
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