WACO, Texas (AP) — An AWOL soldier accused of plotting an attack on Fort Hood with a bomb in backpack was defiant during his first court appearance on Friday, yelling out the name of the Army psychiatrist blamed in the 2009 deadly shooting rampage at the same Texas base.
Federal prosecutors charged 21-year-old Pfc. Naser Abdo with possessing an illegal firearm, two days after he was arrested. Authorities say they found weapons stashed in a motel room where he was staying about 3 miles from Fort Hood’s main gate.
Abdo, who had requested conscientious objector status because his Muslim beliefs prevented him from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, refused to stand up when asked to in court. As he left the room, he yelled: “Nidal Hasan Fort Hood 2009.”
Hasan, an Army major, is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in the worst mass shooting ever on a U.S. military installation.
Abdo’s words in court were a sharp contrast to an essay he wrote last year as the first anniversary of the Fort Hood shootings approached. In the essay, obtained by The Associated Press, Abdo said the attacks ran against his beliefs and were “an act of aggression by a man and not by Islam.”
Abdo was approved as a conscientious objector this year, but that status was put on hold after he was charged with possessing child pornography. He went absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Ky., during the July 4 weekend.