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Naser Jason Abdo: A recap
Naser Jason Abdo, who was indicted this week by a grand jury, has often graced the pages of NER with his exploits. Here is the wikipedia article summarizing his turbulent life ... thus far:
Abdo grew up in Garland, Texas and attended Richardson Terrace Elementary School, South Garland High School and Berkner High School. His parents divorced when he was 3 and he spent most of his childhood with his father, Jamal Rateb Abdo, 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.
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. At a June 15 hearing it was recommended that Abdo face court-martial. He had been AWOL since July 4 from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Two anti-war groups, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Courage to Resist, supported Abdo's conscientious objector bid. 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." Upon hearing of Abdo's arrest, Courage to Resist, who 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.
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, 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. Guns Galore was the same store that Nidal Hasan bought a pistol used in the Fort Hood shootings.
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. 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. According 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.
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 in a grenade and shooting attack in Kuwait at the start of the Iraq war. 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 Yemen.
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. He was ordered held without bond.
During the hearing Abdo shouted: "Nidal Hasan — Ft. Hood 2009" 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. Abdo also invoked the name of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, a 14 year old girl who was raped and murdered by United States Army soldiers in Iraq.
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. A federal Judge, after hearing testimony from the FBI, stated that Abdo could be indicted on additional charges.