Back in 2010, Naser Abdo said he wanted out of the Army in order to:
“…spend his life combating what he called Islamaphobia [sic] and advocating Islam as a peaceful religion.
“I want to use my experience to show Muslims how we can lead our lives,” he said. “And to try and put a good positive spin out there that Islam is a good, peaceful religion. We’re not all terrorists, you know?”…
Somewhere along the line, he had an “Emily Litella” moment: “Never mind.” “More serious charges filed against Abdo,” by Farzad Mashood for the Austin American-Statesman, November 8 (thanks to Kenneth):
A federal grand jury today approved more serious charges against an AWOL soldier whom prosecutors said was planning to detonate a bomb at a restaurant frequented by Fort Hood soldiers in Killeen, officials said.
Naser Jason Abdo, 21, is now charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, 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, U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Cory B. Nelson said in a news release.
The new charges have minimum penalties ranging from five years to life in prison, the news release said.
Investigators have said they found a handgun, an article on bomb-making, gunpowder, shrapnel and pressure cookers in a Killeen motel where Abdo was staying. A bomb-making article with that same title appears in an al Qaeda magazine, officials have said.
After Abdo was arrested at the motel in July, he told authorities he planned to make two bombs and detonate them in a restaurant where Fort Hood soldiers eat, according to documents filed in the case.
“I think the charges speak for themselves,” U.S. Attorney spokesman Daryl Fields said when asked why prosecutors asked for the new charges.
Abdo’s attorney has said the materials are common items and that he did not posses a fully assembled bomb.
Originally from the Dallas suburb of Garland, Abdo joined the Army in 2009. He soon became a high-profile conscientious objector, saying his Muslim faith conflicted with his military duties. Abdo went absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Ky., over the July Fourth weekend after police charged him with possession of child pornography.
A day after his arrest, a defiant Abdo shouted “Nidal Hasan Fort Hood 2009!” as he was led out of a federal courtroom, an apparent homage to the suspect in the worst mass shooting on a U.S. military installation. Abdo condemned that attack less than a year ago but is now accused of trying to carry out another deadly attack.
Abdo was initially indicted Aug. 9, charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition by a fugitive from justice; each charge had a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Those charges remain in effect, but prosecutors will first proceed on charges in today”s indictment, called a superceding indictment.