* Grand jury indicts Army private on three counts
* He had ability, intent to explode bomb - U.S. gov't
By Sandra Sanchez
WACO, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas grand jury
Tuesday indicted an Army private accused of plotting to kill
soldiers from the Fort Hood military base with a homemade bomb,
setting the stage for a trial.
Naser Jason Abdo, 21, is charged with planning an attack on
a restaurant frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood, the base
that was the site of a 2009 shooting rampage that killed 13
people and wounded 32.
The three-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Waco
alleges Abdo possessed a destructive device, an automatic
pistol and 20-gauge shotgun shells while being a fugitive from
justice, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.
If convicted, Abdo faces up to 10 years in federal prison
and a $250,000 fine per count. A date has not been set for his
arraignment, the first step in a jury trial.
Abdo, a private first class who military officials said was
approved as a conscientious objector to the Iraq and
Afghanistan wars, was arrested July 27 in a Killeen, Texas,
motel room. He remains in federal custody.
According to a criminal complaint, Abdo possessed suspected
bomb-making materials, a .40 caliber handgun and an article
entitled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom."
A native of the Dallas area, Abdo had been absent without
leave from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, since July 4, and was being
held in connection with an unrelated pornography warrant.
At his first court appearance July 29, Abdo shouted the
names of Nidal Hasan, a military psychiatrist accused in the
2009 shootings at Fort Hood, and Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, a
14-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by U.S. soldiers in
Iraq in 2006.
(Editing by John O'Callaghan)
© 2016 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.