31 July 2011

BKNT--AWOL soldier defiant in court--OS


“Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom” – INSPIRE, Al Qaeda Online Magazine, June 2011.  No Terrorist Connections?

  AWOL soldier defiant in court

He yells names, refuses to stand during hearing in Fort Hood case


Houston Chronicle -
July 29, 2011, 11:45PM

WACO — The AWOL soldier accused of planning an attack on Fort Hood defiantly cried out "Abdeer Qassim al-Janabi, Iraq 2006! Nidal Hassan, Fort Hood 2009!" at the end of his initial appearance Friday on a weapons charge.

Pfc Nasser Abdo, 21, was referring to an Iraqi girl who was raped and killed by U.S. soldiers in Mahmudiyah five years ago and to the attack by Hassan, who is facing death penalty court martial in the massacre two years ago at a Fort Hood deployment facility.

Abdo, a Muslim conscientious objector, has been accused by Killeen's police chief of preparing a terrorist attack that would have been directed at soldiers on and possibly off Fort Hood.

According to a criminal complaint filed Friday, Abdo, who was absent without leave from his post at Fort Campbell, Ky., admitted he planned to assemble two bombs in his Killeen hotel room using gunpowder and shrapnel packed into pressure cookers to detonate inside an unspecified restaurant frequented by soldiers at Fort Hood.

James Runkel, an FBI special agent assigned to Austin, filed the complaint alleging that Abdo possessed a firearm and a destructive device.

Runkel also stated Abdo "made statements to the arresting officer that he intended to conduct an attack against Killeen and Fort Hood" and that he "also indicated in response to questioning that there were explosives in the backpack and in his room." 
FBI agents joined a search of Abdo's hotel room along with Killeen police and Fort Hood's criminal intelligence division. During the search, FBI Special Agent Bomb Technician Stephen Hauck, based in Austin, said that the components found by authorities "are those which can be used to construct a destructive device." 

Abdo's initial court appearance on the weapons charge lasted about five minutes.
As U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Manske came into the courtroom with a bailiff calling "All rise," Abdo sat. 

Four U.S. marshals came to his side, took him by the arms and made him stand before the judge. 

Manske then proceeded to question him about his educational status. Abdo, who is from Garland, told the judge that he had graduated from high school and had one year of college. 

Manske then asked if he was unable to understand why he was in the courtroom and if he was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. Abdo replied "no." The judge read him his rights as Abdo stood before a lectern with two U.S. marshals at his side. 

When he was asked by the judge if he understood his right to remain silent, Abdo replied, "I sure do." 

Abdo faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Abdo, who is being held without bail because of his AWOL status, was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, where he will remain until his trial. 

The judge set another hearing for 2 p.m. Thursday in Waco and closed the hearing.
A group of marshals surrounded Abdo as the judge rose from his bench and left.
Abdo, wearing a short military haircut, stood, startling everyone as he called out his defiant statement in a strong voice. Then he was gone.


Hood suspect defiant in court appearance

By Jamie Stengle - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Jul 29, 2011 13:09:03 EDT

WACO, Texas — Coolly defiant, Pfc. Naser Abdo shouted “Nidal Hasan, Fort Hood 2009!” as he was led out of the courtroom Friday, an apparent homage to the suspect in the worst mass shooting ever on a U.S. military installation. He condemned the attack less than a year ago, but is now accused of trying to repeat it.

Investigators say Abdo, who cited his Muslim beliefs in requesting conscientious objector status last year, was found in a motel room three miles from Fort Hood’s main gate with a handgun, an article titled Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Momand the ingredients for an explosive device, including gunpowder, shrapnel and pressure cookers. An article with that title appears in an al-Qaida magazine.

Abdo went absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Ky., early this month after being charged with possessing child pornography.

Police and the Army say Abdo admitted plotting an attack, but in Fuhais, Jordan, his father insisted the allegations were “all lies from A to Z.”

“My son loved people no matter who they are, whether Jews or Christians,” Jamal Abdo said. “Naser is not the kind of a person who harbors evil for the other people, he cannot kill anyone and he could not have done any bad thing.”

Jamal Abdo, 52, is a Jordanian who lived near Fort Hood for 25 years until he was deported from the United States last year after being convicted of soliciting a minor.

His 21-year-old son was ordered held without bond Friday. He is charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device in connection with a bomb plot and has yet to enter a plea. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

It was not immediately known if he would face additional charges. “Our office will pursue federal charges where the evidence takes us,” said Daryl Fields, spokesman for federal prosecutors.

In court, Abdo refused to stand when the judge entered — U.S. Marshals pulled him from his seat — but he answered the judge’s questions politely.

On his way out, he yelled “Iraq 2006!” and the name of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl who was raped that year before she and her family were killed. Five current or former U.S. soldiers went to prison, one for a life term, for their roles in that attack.

He also shouted the name of Hasan, an Army major and psychiatrist who is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood.

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Abdo’s court-appointed attorney did not comment. His next hearing was set for Aug. 4.
According to court documents, Abdo told investigators he planned to construct two bombs in his motel room using gunpowder and shrapnel packed into pressure cookers and then detonate the explosives at a restaurant frequented by soldiers.

FBI Agent James E. Runkel said in an affidavit filed in federal court that police found Abdo carrying a backpack containing two clocks, wire, ammunition, a handgun and the aforementioned article. Such an article was featured in an issue of Inspire, an English-language magazine produced by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a Yemen-based branch of the terror group.

The accusations and Abdo’s defiance in court contrast with the words he used as he was petitioning for conscientious objector status. In an essay he sent to The Associated Press last year he said acts like the Fort Hood shootings “run counter to what I believe in as a Muslim.”

He was born in Texas to a non-denominational Christian mother and a Muslim father. Jamal Abdo said they divorced in 1993.

Naser Abdo said he became a Muslim when he was 17. He said he enlisted thinking that Army service would not conflict with his religious beliefs, but reconsidered as he explored Islam further.

“I realized through further reflection that god did not give legitimacy to the war in Afghanistan, Iraq or any war the U.S. Army could conceivably participate in,” he wrote in his conscientious objector application.

Abdo was approved as a conscientious objector this year, but that status was put on hold after he was charged in May with possessing child pornography. Abdo denied the charge before this week’s arrest.

Abdo went AWOL during the July 4 weekend. FBI, police and military officials have said little about whether or how they were tracking Abdo since he left Fort Campbell.

Jamal Abdo disputed both the child pornography charges and the bomb plot allegations against his son, and said Naser was discriminated against in the Army because of his religion.

“Fellow soldiers slurred him and treated him badly. They mocked him as he prayed. They cursed him and used bad language against Islam and its prophet,” he said.

“He reported these incidents, but nothing was done about it,” the elder Abdo said. “Therefore he wanted to leave the Army. I always told him to be calm and to focus on his duty and he used to tell me, ‘Yes, Papa.’ ” He said Naser never mentioned al-Qaida and that he last spoke to his son a week ago.

Abdo was arrested after a gun-store clerk told authorities he bought six pounds of smokeless gunpowder, shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a semi-automatic pistol on Tuesday — while seeming to know little about what he was buying. Killeen police Chief Dennis Baldwin has suggested that without the tip, a terror attack could have been imminent.

Two veterans groups that supported Abdo in his bid to be a conscientious objector said they have not had direct contact with him recently.

“If any of these allegations are true, any sort of violence toward anyone goes completely against what a conscientious objector believes,” said Jose Vasquez, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Another group, Courage to Resist, said in a statement that it had removed Abdo’s profile from its website. It said it has paid $800 of Abdo’s legal fees in the conscientious objector case.

Vasquez provided a copy of a statement Abdo sent to his group last year that claimed soldiers often associated terror with Islam “during routine training exercises.”

“Only when the military and America can disassociate Muslims from terror can we move onto a brighter future of religious collaboration and dialogue that defines America and makes me proud to be an American,” Abdo wrote.

Associated Press writers Jamal Halaby in Fuhais, Jordan; Kristin M. Hall in Nashville, Tenn.; and Janet Cappiello in Louisville, Ky., contributed to this report.



IVAW Statement on Naser Abdo Arrest

IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR - published by Jose Vasquez on 07/28/11 4:47pm
Posted to: New York City

IVAW learned this morning that PFC Naser Abdo was arrested yesterday in Killeen, TX, and is being investigated by the FBI on charges of possessing firearms and bomb-making materials.

Abdo is not now and has never been a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
In August 2010, IVAW supported his application for Conscientious Objector status to reflect our commitment to protecting G.I. Rights for all service members and access to a fair C.O. application process in accordance with Army Regulation 600-43 and DoD Directive 1300.06. In October, IVAW publicized a statement by Abdo condemning Islamophobia. Finally, in November 2010, Abdo offered his support at Ft. Campbell to SPC Jeff Hanks, whose own battle with combat-related trauma earned him the support of IVAW’s Operation Recovery Campaign.

IVAW has not been in contact with Naser Abdo since that time.

As we await additional information on the details of Abdo’s arrest, IVAW reiterates its commitment to non-violence, as outlined in our 2009 Resolution on Non-Violent and Peaceful Actions. Per the organization’s mission, IVAW supports the health and safety of all American troops, and never condones the threat or use of violence against military or civilian

[Information contained in BKNT E-mail is considered Attorney-Client and Attorney Work Product privileged, copyrighted and confidential. Views that may be expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of any government, agency, or news organization.]

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