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US Soldier Convicted of Bomb Plot Against Fellow Soldiers

Soldier Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo (2011 File)

Soldier Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo (2011 File)

A U.S. soldier has been convicted in a civilian federal court in connection with a failed plot to attack a Texas restaurant popular with troops from a U.S. Army post.

Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo was convicted Thursday of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder of U.S. military officers or employees, and possessing a weapon to commit violence.

The 22-year-old Abdo was arrested last July after he bought smokeless gunpowder and other weapons. The gun store owner became suspicious because Abdo was acting in a strange manner. Police arrested him in a motel room filled with bomb making materials, ammunition and other items.

Prosecutors say Abdo had planned to detonate a bomb outside the restaurant, which is frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood, then shoot the customers as they fled the building. He has said he planned the attack because he was upset over the deaths of his fellow Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hands of the U.S. military.

He will be sentenced July 20.

Abdo's lawyer argued his client should be acquitted because his bombing plan never went beyond the preparation stage and that he had no ability to build a bomb.

Another Muslim-American soldier at Fort Hood, Major Nidal Hasan, is charged with the deaths of 13 comrades during a 2009 shooting spree on the post.

Abdo was stationed at the Army post in Fort Campbell, Kentucky when he left without permission and drove to Texas. He was charged with possessing child pornography shortly before he went AWOL (absent without leave).

Abdo had been granted conscientious objector status (a person opposed to war regardless of the reason) because of his Muslim faith.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.