• December 20, 2014

Abdo case under gag order; arraignment today

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Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 2:13 pm, Thu Jan 23, 2014.

By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

A gag order has been issued in the case against the accused terrorist and AWOL soldier Naser Jason Abdo, 21.

Abdo will be arraigned today in U.S. District Court in Waco on two new charges in connection with his alleged attempt to kill Fort Hood soldiers with homemade bombs.

Abdo will face charges of possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition by a fugitive. He also is charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device.

The order prevents Abdo, his representation, prosecutors and anyone who may testify at his trial from speaking with the media to prevent a "tainted jury pool and a carnival atmosphere," according to the order.

Court-appointed defense attorney Keith Dorsett requested the order in a sealed motion, which was granted Monday. During today's hearing in Waco, U.S. District Court Jeffrey Manske may rule on the motion.

The gag order states Abdo's outburst after his initial appearance in federal court July 29 exacerbated the media magnifying glass on his case. At the end of the hearing, Abdo shouted the name of accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan.

"This case has already attracted extensive media attention from the local and national press," according to the order. "And the defendant's comments during his initial appearance before the magistrate judge indicate that he desires to attract more publicity to disseminate his views."

Abdo, a devout Muslim, joined the U.S. Army in 2009. He gained national media attention in 2010 when he became a conscientious objector to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said at the time his faith prevented him from fighting and that he wanted to be an example of a peaceful Muslim.

Abdo won conscientious objector status in May. However, Army officials halted his discharge when Fort Campbell authorities charged him with possession of child pornography.

Abdo was wanted on a child pornography warrant when he went AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., on July 4. Following a tip about a suspicious person from a local gun shop clerk, Killeen police arrested him July 27 at a local hotel.

During a search of his backpack and hotel room, authorities located an al-Qaida recipe for a bomb, several items believed to be bomb components, a handgun and shotgun shells.

After his arrest, Abdo told Killeen Police Department and FBI investigators that he intended to build and detonate two bombs at a restaurant in Killeen or on Fort Hood. Soldiers were his intended targets, according to an arrest affidavit.

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

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