Fort Hood Suspect Yells Nidal Hasan's Name in Court

Abdo, accused in terror plot, yells alleged 2009 shooter's name.

ByABC News
July 29, 2011, 8:02 AM

July 29, 2011 — -- When Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, accused of plotting planning a deadly bombing and shooting attack on soldiers at Fort Hood, made his first appearance in court in Waco, Texas, today, he yelled the name of accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan.

Hasan is facing the death penalty for allegedly killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 in an assault on Fort Hood in November 2009.

Like Hasan, Abdo may have taken some of his inspiration from Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born Islamic cleric who is among the leaders of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). One senior U.S. official told ABC News that after Abdo was arrested at a Killeen, Texas hotel Wednesday, Abdo mentioned the name of al-Awlaki.

Nidal Hasan had exchanged emails with Awlaki, according to U.S. authorities. Al-Awlaki is believed to have inspired several other terror plots in the U.S. as well, including the bungled Christmas Day underwear bombing of Northwest flight 253.

According to senior law enforcement officials, when police searched Abdo's hotel room, in addition to firearms, ammunition and bomb-making materials, they also found an article from a jihadi magazine produced by al-Awlaki's organization, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The officials told ABC News Abdo had apparently stashed in the room an article from the first issue of al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine called "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."

AQAP, a media-savvy affiliate of al Qaeda, has produced six issues of "Inspire" so far, each featuring praise for martyrs and instructional sections on firearms and explosives for the prospective terrorist.

Abdo was charged Friday with the federal crime of possession of a non-registered firearm in addition to previous charges of possession of child pornography and going AWOL from his unit. As he was being led from the courtroom, he yelled out, "Nidal Hasan!", "Fort Hood!", and "2009!".

READ: Soldier Arrested in Alleged Fort Hood Plot

Abdo Went AWOL July 4

Abdo, a Muslim soldier who was in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell more than 800 miles away in Kentucky, attempted to leave the military in 2010 after protesting the U.S.'s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In August 2010 he told ABC News he should not have to participate in what he called an "unjust war".

"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.

READ: Devout Muslim Hopes to Avoid Deployment to Afghanistan

The Army approved Abdo's request to be discharged as a conscientious objector, but just days later the discharge was put on hold and he was charged with having child pornography on his government-issued computer. Military investigators had been looking at Abdo's computer files after he made "radical statements," law enforcement sources told ABC News.

After he was told he would face a court martial, Abdo went AWOL from Fort Campbell on July 4. Though vocal in his protestations against the mission in the Middle East, Abdo did not make any public threats against the military.

But when he was discovered Wednesday, Abdo was apparently in the final planning stages of a deadly attack. He was caught in part because a wary local gun store owner called police after Abdo visited the store to buy ammunition and gunpowder. He was acting "suspicious," Guns Galore owner Greg Ebert told ABC News.

"There was clearly something wrong with him," Ebert said. "We made a decision to call the police and fortunately it worked out."

After his arrest, Abdo admitted he planned to plant two bombs at a local restaurant frequented by Fort Hood soldiers and hoped to gun down any survivors of the dual blast, according to law enforcement documents obtained by ABC News.

According to the documents, military officials believe the incident "was likely isolated to the Fort Hood area and the suspect in custody, and that arrest of the suspect has mitigated any further threats related to this incident."

Abdo's former lawyer, James M. Branum, declined to comment for an ABC News report except to say Thursday he hasn't spoken with his client "in a long time."

ABC News' Sarah Netter, Luis Martinez and Lee Ferran contributed to this report.

Click Here for the Blotter Homepage.