Army PFC. Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim convert, has been sentenced to two life terms in prison by U.S. District Judge Walter Smith for collecting bomb making materials with the intent of carrying out a terrorist attack against soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, according to the Associated Press.
Abdo went AWOL from Fort Campbell, KY
Abdo, then serving with the 101st Airborne Division, went AWOL from his post at Fort Campbell, Ky., on July 4, 2011, according to an account by Daniel Pipes in the Washington Times. On July 27 he visited the Guns Galore store in Killeen, Texas, near Fort Hood, where he bought weapons, ammunition, and bomb-making materials. He also bought an Army uniform with Fort Hood patches at a military surplus store.
Abdo arrested later that day
Law enforcement officers arrested Abdo later on July 27, according to the Washington Times account. According to the FBI he had in his possession a .40-caliber hand gun, ammunition, an article from Inspire, the English language magazine published by Al Qaeda entitled, "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom," and materials suggested in the article to make a bomb.
Abdo indicted for various bomb charges
According to the FBI, Abdo was indicted with "one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction; one count of attempted murder of officers or employees of the United States, two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal crime of violence; and two counts of possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a federal crime of violence" in November 2011. This indictment superseded a previous indictment of "unlawfully attempted to create and detonate a bomb in an attempt to kill, with pre-meditation and malice aforethought, members of the uniformed services of the United States and to shoot survivors of said detonation with a firearm" that was issued in August 2011.
In May 2012, Abdo was convicted on six counts in connection with his bomb plot, according to the Associated Press. The counts were "attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder of U.S. officers or employees, and four counts of possessing a weapon in furtherance of a federal crime of violence "
Abdo represented himself in sentencing hearing
According to the Associated Press, Abdo represented himself during the sentencing hearing. He was gagged with a black mesh mask over his face, the result of his previously spitting blood on law enforcement officers, claiming that he was HIV positive. When allowed to speak on his own behalf, Abdo swore that he would wage jihad until the Last Judgment. His prison sentence, of double life plus extra time, will be without hope of parole.
Abdo had troubled history with United States Army
The Washington Times account suggests that Abdo had a troubled career with the Army during the year before he went AWOL. In August 2010, he attempted to gain conscientious objector status on the grounds that his Muslim faith forbade him to serve in Afghanistan or Iraq. In May, 2011, Abdo won CO status. However at the same time he was faced with an Article 32 hearing on suspicion of downloading child pornography. On June 15, the Article 32 recommended Abdo for a court-martial. Abdo went AWOL 19 days later.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network .