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AWOL soldier was plotting a Ft. Hood attack, officials say

Naser Jason Abdo had intended to attack military personnel at Ft. Hood, site of a massacre in November 2009, Texas authorities say. Abdo is being held pending federal charges.

July 28, 2011|By Stephen Ceasar, Richard A. Serrano and David Cloud | Los Angeles Times
  • Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, 21, in a police booking photo.
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, 21, in a police booking photo.

The arrest of an apparently AWOL Army private in Killeen, Texas, has been attributed to a suspicious-behavior tip from a member of the public, authorities announced Thursday. They say the man intended to attack military personnel at Ft. Hood.

In announcing the tip, Police Chief Dennis Baldwin would not discuss details of the information provided but said at a briefing: "We would probably be here giving you another briefing had he not been stopped."

The solider has been identified as 21-year-old Naser Jason Abdo, who allegedly went AWOL on July 4 from Ft. Campbell in Kentucky. As a Muslim, he filed as a conscientious objector, Army officials said, and they recommended he be court-martialed. Child pornography was allegedly found in his possession.

Abdo was arrested at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday at a hotel near Ft. Hood. Baldwin would not comment on what was found in the room, but a local FBI agent told Reuters that Abdo was found with "bomb-making materials."

After interviewing Abdo, authorities said they believe he was acting alone and planned to target military personnel, Baldwin reported at the briefing. "I would classify it as a terror plot," he said.

Authorities are not aware of any additional threats in the area.

Abdo is being held at the Killeen City Jail, pending federal charges, Baldwin said. "He is a very dangerous individual and he's where he needs to be," he said.

Ft. Hood was the scene of a deadly shooting by an Army psychiatrist in 2009. Thirteen people died in that attack.

"We've been through a lot in this community," Baldwin said. "We're probably more familiar with this kind of environment than most."

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