Fort Hood Suspect Mentions al Qaeda Cleric Believed to Have Inspired Previous Attack, Official Says

Officials: Pfc. Naser Abdo admits to planning attack on Army base.

ByABC News
July 28, 2011, 10:15 AM

July 28, 2011 — -- A U.S. serviceman is in custody after he allegedly admitted he was planning an attack on his fellow servicemen at the U.S. Army base at Fort Hood, Texas, the same base where 13 people were killed in a 2009 terror attack.

U.S. officials told ABC News an AWOL soldier, identified by the FBI as a Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo, was arrested Wednesday after making a purchase at Guns Galore in Killeen, Texas, the same ammunition store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased the weapons he allegedly used to gun down 13 people and wound 32 others on Nov. 5, 2009. According to one senior official, Abdo has also mentioned the name of high profile al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki -- the same man investigators said inspired the previous Fort Hood attack along with other potentially deadly terror plots in the U.S. -- though no direct link between Abdo and Awlaki has been found.

Abdo, 21, allegedly told law enforcement he wanted to "get even" and was targeting Ft. Hood because of the previous attack there, according to law enforcement documents obtained by ABC News. The documents say he did not plan to attack the base itself, but instead planned to plant two bombs at a nearby restaurant popular with Ft. Hood personnel.

He hoped to detonate both at the target location before using a pistol to shoot survivors, according to the documents. Abdo had gone AWOL over the July 4 weekend from Fort Campbell's 101st Airborne Division in Kentucky over 800 miles away.

When he was arrested, Abdo was in possession of large quantities of ammunition, weapons and what appeared to be the makings of a bomb, according to early accounts from law enforcement. He had also apparently purchased an Army uniform with Fort Hood patches from a local surplus store.

Sources: Soldier Had Made 'Radical Statements'

Abdo, reportedly of Palestinian descent, was raised by his Muslim father and non-denominational Christian mother in Texas. In 2010 he told ABC News he was Muslim and should not have to participate in what he called an "unjust war" in the Middle East.

"Any Muslim who knows his religion or maybe takes into account what his religion says can find out very clearly why he should not participate in the U.S. military," Abdo said then.

Abdo said in 2010 he originally joined the military because he believed he would be fighting a "just" war that would help protect the freedoms of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. Months later, however, Abdo said he realized he "wasn't supposed to be here."

READ: Devout Muslim Soldier Hopes to Avoid Deployment to Afghanistan

Abdo filed for conscientious objector status, which was approved by the Secretary of the Army, but his discharge was put on hold after Abdo was charged with having child pornography on his computer, an Army spokesperson told ABC News. Law enforcement sources said investigators began looking at Abdo's computer files due to "radical statements" he made after filing for discharge and only discovered the pornography then.

On a Facebook page apparently maintained by Abdo, he writes in the most recent post on June 22 that it was two days after the Secretary approved his discharge that he was charged with having 34 images of child pornography on the computer.

"As god says, 'The end is ultimately with the believers' Quran," the post says.