Fox News got the scoop this morning on an arrest near Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, where Major Nidal Hasan massacred 14 people in November 2009. A private who went AWOL three weeks ago from Fort Campbell in Kentucky had built up quite an arsenal of both guns and explosives before the FBI closed in on him today. Like Nidal Hasan, Nasser Jason Abdo wanted out of his deployment to Afghanistan, and had been granted conscientious-objector status — before the Army discovered child pornography on his computer, which is when he went AWOL.
Yeah, he’s a real charmer:
At least one U.S. military serviceman has been arrested after raising concerns over another alleged plot to attack Fort Hood, Fox News has learned exclusively.
Pvt. Nasser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody there. Authorities, however, will not say if Abdo is the one who raised security concerns.
Abdo was found with weapons and explosives at the time of his arrest, a senior Army source confirms to Fox News. He was arrested at around 2 p.m. Wednesday after someone called authorities to report a suspicious individual. …
Bob Jenkins, a Fort Campbell spokesman, told Fox News that Abdo was also being investigated for child pornography found on his government computer.
Abdo went AWOL on July 4. On the eve of his first deployment to Afghanistan — after only one year in the Army — Abdo applied for conscientious objector status. It was denied by his superiors at Ft. Campbell but later overturned by the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Army review board.
It’s not easy to qualify as a conscientious objector in the all-volunteer military, as that status is usually reserved for those philosophically or religiously opposed to all war, not just one in particular. Fox reports that “jihadist materials” were found in his backpack along with explosives, which (if true) would tend to explain why the Army review board eventually decided that sending him to Afghanistan might be a bad idea. Perhaps in the future those requests might be seen as a red flag. This one certainly was to Andy McCarthy at the time.
If this was a jihadist attack, however, his recruitment was — shall we say — less than optimal. The idea for a sleeper terrorist is to blend in and not draw attention. I’m not sure what part of that strategy involves collecting child pornography on a computer to which the military has access. His AWOL status seems to have forced Abdo into attempting to aggregate the materials needed for another attack on Fort Hood very quickly, which also drew more unwanted attention to him.
One might wonder why Fort Hood was selected again, but that would not be an accident. Fort Hood serves as a staging ground for deployment to the war in Afghanistan, which is presumably why Hasan was selected for the first attack.
Update: Let’s not forget that CNN thought Abdo was a hero last August for claiming his religion trumped his voluntary commitment to honoring the chain of command: