Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Another Fort Hood Terror Plot? Army Pfc. Naser Abdo Arrested

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Another Fort Hood Terror Plot? Army Pfc. Naser Abdo Arrested

Article excerpt

Army Pfc. Naser Abdo was arrested with weapons and bombmaking explosives in his motel room near Fort Hood in Texas. It is raising suspicions about a 'lone wolf' terror scenario.

Details about a Muslim-American US Army soldier arrested with guns and explosives near Fort Hood, Texas, remain sketchy.

But initial reports suggest that Army Private 1st Class Naser Abdo has confessed to a plot similar to the attack that hit Fort Hood in 2009 - an individual acting alone, based on religious beliefs as well as a personal grudge, intending to do harm on a wide scale. It's the kind of "lone wolf" scenario US law enforcement officials - and those in Europe, witness Norway massacre suspect Anders Behring Breivik - have been focusing on as a likely source of domestic terrorism.

Here's what's known so far: Abdo was arrested Wednesday in a motel room in Killeen, Texas. He had been absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Ky., since the July Fourth weekend.

Tipped off by a gunshop owner in Killeen who became suspicious when Abdo asked about making explosives, agents found firearms and "items that could be identified as bombmaking components, including gunpowder," according to FBI spokesman Erik Vasys.

The "Guns Galore" shop where Abdo made his purchases was the same one where US Army Maj. Nidal Hasan bought the weapons he allegedly used to kill 13 people and wound 32 others at Fort Hood in November 2009. Abdo also went to a military surplus store where he bought uniform items with Fort Hood patches.

"Suffice it to say we're looking into all aspects of Mr. Abdo's life to determine his motivations and intentions," Mr. Vasys told the Associated Press.

Abdo, who had served about a year on active duty, was an infantry soldier in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, about 800 miles from Fort Hood.

Although he once believed that by joining the US Army he could help protect the free practice of Islam in Iraq and Afghanistan, he eventually changed his mind. Based on his religion, Abdo applied for and had been granted conscientious objector (CO) status.

"A Muslim is not allowed to participate in an Islamicly unjust war," he told ABC News last August. …

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