Pvt. Abdo, of the storied 101st Airborne Division, has admitted he planned a major terror attack on Fort Hood, the Associated Press reports. He was arrested in Killeen, Texas, following a tip from a gun store clerk where Abdo attempted to buy gunpowder, ammunition, and a magazine for a handgun.
"I can probably tell you that we would be having a different briefing today if we hadn't arrested him," Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin said at a news conference, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.
Abdo disappeared after he was charged with possession of child pornography. The court martial he faced delayed what should have been his exit from the Army. He had joined the Army knowing that even though he practiced the Muslim faith he might be sent to war, but later decided, having spoken with Muslim advisers, that he could not kill other Muslims. The Army then granted him a discharge.
The Army's decision to grant Abdo a discharge, based upon his "conscientious objection" to killing other Muslims, was a grave error, retired Adm. James Lyon, former commander of the Pacific fleet, argued in the Washington Times. Lyons declared that doing so implicitly validated Major Nidal Hasan’s argument, rooted in Islamic teaching, that said Muslims may kill infidels but not other believers. Lyons explained,
By granting conscientious objector status to Pfc. Abdo, the Army is tacitly accepting a key tenet of the Islamic doctrine of jihad, as embraced by al Qaeda and other terrorists groups, which states that any incursion by non-Muslims into the Islamic lands makes it the duty for all Muslims to fight the “occupiers.” This view is shared by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has challenged American efforts in Afghanistan as “unwelcome outsiders,” in effect, occupiers.
Lyons also wondered whether Abdo got the idea that he was a conscientious objector from a Muslim chaplain who would have been “personally selected” for the military chaplaincy by Abdurahman Alamoudi, who has been convicted for financing terrorists and is now serving a 23-year prison sentence.
Wherever he got the idea that he was a CO, Pvt. Abdo was planning a mass murder of Americans.
Authorities said Abdo’s arrest uncovered a veritable arsenal at his motel room, a mere three miles from Fort Hood. According to Fox News:
Abdo, 21, was found with weapons, explosives and jihadist materials 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.
Eric Vasys, a spokesman with the FBI's San Antonio Office, said authorities found firearms and bomb making components inside Abdo's motel room. Sources also say Abdo was attempting to make a purchase at Guns Galore in Killeen, the same ammunition store where Major Nidal Hasan purchased weapons that were allegedly used to gun down 13 people and wound 30 others at the base on Nov. 5, 2009.
Sources said Abdo had enough materials to make two bombs, including 18 pounds of sugar and six pounds of smokeless gunpowder — a possible trigger for an explosive. A pressure cooker was also found.
“He was all ready to go,” one law enforcement source said.
Abdo may have consummated his plan, had it not been for the alert clerk at Guns Galore.
According to the Killeen Daily Herald, a former city police officer who works at the store notified police. Abdo purchased an abnormally large amount of smokeless gunpowder, the newspaper reported. He “randomly selected six canisters of smokeless powder, a mix of fast and slow,” clerk Greg Ebert told the newspaper. When Abdo showed up at the counter, he asked Ebert, “What’s smokeless powder?” Ebert told the paper he thought, “If you don’t know, then why are you buying it?”
Abdo also purchased three boxes of shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a pistol, the newspaper reported. And he arrived at the store in a taxi, another clue to his intention.
According to the AP, the taxi service also helped apprehend the would-be jihadist.
According to an Army alert sent via email and obtained by the Associated Press, Killeen police learned from the taxi company that Abdo had been picked up from a local motel and had also visited an Army surplus store where he paid cash for a uniform bearing Fort Hood unit patches.
The Army alert said Abdo “was in possession of a large quantity of ammunition, weapons and a bomb inside a backpack,” and upon questioning admitted planning an attack on Fort Hood. Officials have not offered details about a possible motive.
Abdo will be charged with possession of bomb-making materials, and it appears as if he may have been working with two other GIs to carry out an attack.
The question is what the Army will say now that another Muslim jihadist has turned up in its ranks.
Diversity Must Be Protected at All Costs
After Hasan struck, killing 13 and wounding 30, the Army's top man rushed to say the jihadist attack must not be permitted to affect the Army's "diversity."
As The New American reported in February, just days after Hasan struck his deadly blow, the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George Casey, Jr., was concerned on national television not about more Muslims jihadists who might perpetrate mass murder, but about whether Hasan’s deeds might “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.”
“I’ve asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that,” General Casey said in an interview on CNN’s 'State of the Union.' “It would be a shame — as great a tragedy as this was — it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.”
General Casey, who has appeared on three Sunday news programs, used almost the same language during an interview on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” an indication of the Army’s effort to ward off bias against the more than 3,000 Muslims in its ranks.
“A diverse Army gives us strength,” General Casey, who visited Fort Hood Friday, said on 'This Week.'
In his full statement expressing his concerns about a backlash, Casey reiterated his plea for diversity:
And what happened at Ford Hood was a tragedy. But I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.… We have a very diverse Army and a very diverse society and that gives us all strength.
Critics say that it was precisely that attitude that helped Hasan perpetrate the mass murder at Fort Hood. In February, the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee concluded that the FBI’s Joint Task Forces on Terrorism and the Army should have stopped Hasan, given what it knew of his commitment to jihad. The committee’s report was entitled, “A Ticking Time Bomb.”
Hasan put his beliefs on full display during his career, most famously in a slide presentation, entitled “The Koranic World View as It Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military,” which flatly stated that Muslim GIs must not be forced to fight other “believers.” One of his slides said, “Fighting to establish an Islamic State to please God, even by force, is condoned by the Islam.” Said another, “Muslims soldiers must not serve in any capacity that renders them at risk of hurting/killing believers unjustly.”
Apparently, Abdo held the same “Koranic world view” as Hasan.
Photo of gun store clerk Greg Ebert: AP Images