Soldier convicted in Fort Hood bomb plot

May 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM
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WACO, Texas, May 25 (UPI) -- A U.S. soldier has been convicted of six charges stemming from a plot last year to bomb Fort Hood soldiers at a Texas restaurant and then shoot the survivors.

A federal jury found Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder and four weapons charges, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported.

Abdo, 22, had conscientious objector status because of his Muslim faith.

He is to be sentenced this summer and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Abdo, who was arrested in July, had made recorded confessions to his mother and police officers and also provided detailed accounts of his plot to FBI investigators during nearly 11 hours of interrogation.

Just after his arrest, Abdo told a Killeen, Texas, police officer he had planned the attack on Fort Hood soldiers because he "didn't appreciate what my unit did in Afghanistan."

The unit, the 101st Airborne Division has made several deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Abdo also had told an Austin-based FBI agent he picked Killeen to "remind people" of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused in a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood.

Abdo went to Killeen from Fort Campbell, Ky., a base from which he had gone AWOL. He was facing child pornography charges at the time but his attorney, Zachary Boyd, said Fort Campbell legal officers determined they lacked probable cause for the charges.

Police said it would have taken Abdo 30 minutes to assemble a homemade bomb using instructions in an al-Qaida magazine . Police found pressure cookers, gunpowder, clocks, electrical tape and a pistol in Abdo's hotel room near Fort Hood.

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