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Grand jury indicts U.S. private in Fort Hood plot

File photo of police booking photograph of U.S. Army soldier Naser Jason Abdo
File photo of police booking photograph of U.S. Army soldier Naser Jason Abdo

By Sandra Sanchez

WACO, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas grand jury on Tuesday indicted an Army private accused of plotting to kill soldiers from the Fort Hood military base with a homemade bomb, setting the stage for a trial.

Naser Jason Abdo, 21, is charged with planning an attack on a restaurant frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood, the base that was the site of a 2009 shooting rampage that killed 13 people and wounded 32.

The three-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Waco alleges Abdo possessed a destructive device, an automatic pistol and 20-gauge shotgun shells while being a fugitive from justice, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

If convicted, Abdo faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine per count. A date has not been set for his arraignment, the first step in a jury trial.

Abdo, a private first class who military officials said was approved as a conscientious objector to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, was arrested on July 27 in a Killeen, Texas, motel room. He remains in federal custody.

According to a criminal complaint, Abdo possessed suspected bomb-making materials, a .40 caliber handgun and an article entitled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom."

A native of the Dallas area, Abdo had been absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, since July 4, and was being held in connection with an unrelated pornography warrant.

At his first court appearance on July 29, Abdo shouted the names of Nidal Hasan, a military psychiatrist accused in the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, and Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, a 14-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by U.S. soldiers in Iraq in 2006.

(Editing by John O'Callaghan)

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