WACO, Texas - A federal jury convicted a Muslim soldier Thursday on six charges in connection with a failed plot to blow up a Texas restaurant full of Fort Hood soldiers, his religious mission to get “justice’’ for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jurors in US District Court deliberated a little more than an hour before finding Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder of US officers or employees, and four counts of possessing a weapon in furtherance of a federal crime of violence - two involving a gun and two involving a destructive device.
Abdo, 22, did not stand with his attorneys when jurors and the judge entered the room, and showed no emotion when each of the six guilty verdicts was read by the court clerk. He faces up to life in prison. Sentencing was set for July.
When authorities arrested Abdo at a Killeen motel last July after he had gone AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., they found numerous bomb-making components, a loaded gun, 143 rounds of ammunition, a stun gun, and other items in his backpack and room.
In a recorded police interview, Abdo said he was planning an attack in the Fort Hood area “because I don’t appreciate what my unit did in Afghanistan.’’
During the trial, a recorded jail conversation was played for jurors in which Abdo told his mother that his religion inspired his actions, and that he was seeking justice for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.