US Soldier Arrested Near Fort Hood

Posted July 28th, 2011 at 4:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Police say a U.S. soldier arrested after bomb-making material was found in a motel room in the U.S. state of Texas planned to target military personnel.

A local police chief told reporters Thursday the suspect was apparently close to carrying out an alleged plot at Fort Hood, an Army base in Texas.

The chief said he was not aware of any other threats to the local community.

U.S. federal agents said the soldier, 21-year-old Nasser Jason Abdo, was taken into custody Wednesday in Killeen, Texas, after authorities got a tip about a suspicious individual.

The FBI said Thursday agents found weapons and smokeless gunpowder in Abdo's motel room near Fort Hood, but that he was being held on unrelated child pornography charges.

Officials said Abdo had disappeared from his assigned base, Fort Campbell, in the eastern state of Kentucky, on July 4.

Fort Hood was the scene of a deadly shooting in November 2009 that killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.

A U.S. Army psychiatrist, Major Nidal Hasan, is standing trial in military court for the incident and faces the death penalty if convicted.

U.S. officials have linked Hasan to a radical Muslim cleric in Yemen. Hasan was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police on the day of the rampage and remains in jail.

The U.S. army had granted Abdo conscientious objector status to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in June, but that designation had been put on hold following the child pornography charges.