- Last Updated: 6:43 PM, May 24, 2012
- Posted: 6:41 PM, May 24, 2012
WACO, Texas -- The US soldier charged with plotting a 2011 attack on Fort Hood troops was found guilty on all counts Thursday, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo -- a Muslim soldier who was AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., at the time of his 2011 arrest -- faces up to life in prison for his conviction of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
A civilian jury at a US District Court in Waco, Texas, also found Abdo guilty of attempted murder of US military personnel and four weapons-related charges
He stood accused of planning to bomb a Killeen, Texas, Chinese buffet frequented by soldiers at nearby Fort Hood. Prosecutors said he was planning to launch his attack around lunchtime to allow for the maximum number of casualties.
Prosecutors told jurors he was just hours away from assembling a bomb when he was arrested on July 27, 2011.
Abdo confessed to his plot and told his arresting officers that he had explosives in his backpack and hotel room.
Police found a gun, gunpowder, shotgun shells, shotgun pellets, two clocks, two spools of auto wire, an electric drill and two pressure cookers in his possession.
He also had an article entitled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom." An article of the same title was published in al Qaeda's English-language magazine "Inspire."
Abdo's attorney pushed back against the government's claims, arguing that Abdo had never assembled a bomb and suggesting that his client had never been adequately read his Miranda rights.
But jurors found him guilty on all counts after prosecutors played his confession to Killeen police soon after he was taken into custody.
"I was planning to pull off an attack in Fort Hood, Killeen... I didn't appreciate what my unit did in Afghanistan," Abdo told an officer on the audio recording.
Abdo entered the service in March 2009 but applied for conscientious objector status in June 2010, on the eve of his first deployment to Afghanistan, citing his religious beliefs as a Muslim.
In May 2011, just days after his application was approved, Abdo was charged with multiple counts of possession of child pornography and his military discharge was put on hold.
Abdo adamantly denied that he put child porn on his government computer and claimed the charges were the military's way of retaliating against him.