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Abdo to represent himself at hearing Thursday

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Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 12:00 pm

By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

WACO — A judge has ordered the sentencing for would-be terrorist Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo moved up a day.

Abdo, 22, will represent himself during his sentencing hearing Thursday afternoon at federal court in Waco, and court filings indicate he will bring up a past charge of child pornography during the hearing.

The AWOL Fort Campbell private could be sentenced to life in prison for plotting to kill Fort Hood soldiers last summer. Killeen police arrested Abdo in July 2011 while he was in the process of building a bomb at a local hotel.

He later confessed to planning to detonate at least one bomb at a Chinese buffet in Killeen and shoot any survivors. He has since sought media publicity during court hearings.

Abdo reached out to media from his McLennan County Jail cell, shouted the name of the accused Fort Hood shooter during one hearing and threw a note at reporters during another.

He will be allowed to speak for himself Thursday, but he will still likely be restrained from creating any disruptions.

His former attorneys have said that Abdo wore an electrified vest during his trial. U.S. Marshals had the ability to shock Abdo if he attempted to do anything out of the ordinary.

The court also ordered him to wear a surgical mask over his face after he allegedly spit blood on a U.S. Marshal. Abdo wore a mask at his last hearing.

Court documents filed last month show that Abdo's arguments will center on the child pornography charge and acrimony that may have surrounded his request for conscientious objector status.

Abdo asked to be discharged from the Army because of his religious objections to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Muslim soldier's request initially was denied but eventually granted by Pentagon officials.

Fort Campbell placed Abdo's pending discharge on hold in May 2011 when Army officials said they found images of child pornography on his government-issued computer.

About two months later, Abdo went AWOL and traveled to Killeen with a deadly purpose.

In a handwritten motion, Abdo asks for the testimony of five officials from Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne. He states he needs to question the individuals about the child pornography charge and why his discharge was delayed.

U.S. District Court Judge Walter Smith denied his request on July 23. Abdo's sentencing begins at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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