Witness: AWOL Soldier Planned Lunchtime Attack On Local Restaurant
WACO (May 22, 2012)—AWOL Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo planned to detonate a homemade bomb in a Fort Hood area restaurant frequented by soldiers and then to shoot anyone who survived the explosion to "martyr himself" for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, FBI Special Agent C. Michael Owens testified Tuesday.
Owens, who was the first prosecution witness in Abdo’s trial in U.S. District Court in Waco, testified that Abdo told him he planned to target a Chinese restaurant because soldiers like to eat Chinese food.
Owens testified that Abdo planned to fill a pressure cooker with shrapnel and gunpowder and to use a clock as a timer.
Owens said Abdo told him he got instructions on how to build the bomb from a magazine he read online at a public library.
Owens testified Abdo planned to carry out the attack between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. because that’s when married soldiers would be eating.
He testified that Abdo told him he chose to target a restaurant in the Fort Hood area rather than at Fort Bragg, where he was stationed, because he wanted to credit the faith of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who’s awaiting trial for the deadly November 2009 shooting rampage on post.
Owens quoted Abdo as saying of Hasan, "People think he's crazy. But he's not."
He also testified that Abdo told him he planned to offer a ride to and then murder a random soldier, whose death he planned to videotape while reciting the names of Muslims he felt were the U.S. government had wronged, including Hasan.
In opening statements Tuesday morning, prosecutors said Abdo confessed to the plot, which they said was foiled by good police work and a resident’s report of suspicious activity.