A federal jury Thursday convicted Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim soldier, on six charges in connection with his failed plot to blow up a Texas restaurant full of Fort Hood troops, his religious mission to get “justice” for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“A disaster was averted because somebody picked up the phone and made a call,” prosecutor Mark Frazier told The Associated Press after the trial. “The people who work in businesses like this are vigilant … and risked being embarrassed if their suspicions turned out to be nothing, but that’s what we want people to do.”
Abdo was convicted of 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. He faces up to life in prison. U.S. District Judge Walter Smith is set to sentence Abdo in July.
WACO, Texas — Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim soldier who was AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., is accused of planning to bomb a Killeen restaurant filled with Fort Hood soldiers and shoot any survivors last summer. Jury selection was scheduled to start Monday at his federal trial in Waco, about 50 miles northeast of Killeen, the city just outside Fort Hood.
Abdo, 22, faces up to life in prison if convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, the most serious of the six charges on which he’s being tried.
Abdo, who was born in Texas and grew up in a Dallas suburb, became a Muslim when he was 17. He enlisted in the military in 2009, thinking that the service wouldn’t conflict with his religious beliefs. But according to his essay that was part of his conscientious objector status application, Abdo reconsidered as he explored Islam further.
In that essay, which he sent to The Associated Press in 2010, Abdo said acts like the 2009 Fort Hood shootings “run counter to what I believe in as a Muslim” and were “an act of aggression by a man and not by Islam.”