29 Jul 2011

Arrested soldier 'planned to target military base'

9:48 am on 29 July 2011

Police in the United States say a soldier arrested in Texas after police found guns and possible bomb-making materials in his motel room was planning to target the Fort Hood military base.

Naser Jason Abdo had been granted conscientious objector status because of his Muslim religious beliefs. He had been absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, since early July.

The 21-year-old was arrested on Wednesday after a "concerned citizen" reported that he had firearms and smokeless gunpowder in his motel room in Killeen, police said.

"A search of his motel room revealed that he had some components which could be considered bomb-making materials," FBI agent Eric Vasys said.

Fort Hood was the scene of a shooting rampage that killed 13 people and wounded 32 others in November 2009. An army psychiatrist, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, was charged in the shootings and is expected to face a court martial in March, 2012.

In June, the US military approved Abdo as a conscientious objector to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that status was put on hold after he was charged with child pornography in Kentucky.