July 28, 2011 On Tuesday, a Texas gun dealer alerted local law enforcement officials about a suspicious character. FBI officials said the call from a local gun shop may have averted another terrorist attack at the Fort Hood, Texas military base.
There are conflicting reports on how and where the suspect, U.S. Army Private Naser Jason Abdo was apprehended by Killeen police on Wednesday. Local sources report that Abdo was arrested at a motel about three miles from Fort Hood’s main gate while it has been widely reported that he was arrested during a traffic stop. An FBI spokesperson said bomb-making materials were discovered during a search of the hotel room where Abdo was staying. Currently, Abdo is being held in the Killeen City Jail.
Abdo made a public plea to be granted conscientious objector and refused to deploy to Afghanistan, which was granted in 2010. However, the soldier went AWOL from the Fort Campbell, Kentucky military base over the 2011 July 4 weekend after being charged with possession of child pornography.
Earlier today, long time U.S.Representative John Carter said:
“Thanks to quick action by a Texas gun dealer in alerting local police to a suspicious character and a prompt and vigorous response by the Killeen Police Department, we may well have averted a repeat of the tragic 2009 radical Islamic terror attack on our nation’s largest military installation.”
Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin told reporters that Abdo, a 21 year old Muslim American admitted to investigators that he was targeting fellow soldiers in an attack at the Fort Hood military base and police believe he was acting alone. Chief Baldwin added “He’s a very dangerous individual and he is where he needs to be.”
In 2009, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, another Muslim American purchased a pistol at Guns Galore LLC before he opened fire at the Fort Hood base killing 13 and wounding 32 military personnel—the same local gun store that Abdo reportedly raised the suspicions of Greg Ebert, the store clerk and a retired police officer. Ebert reportedly told law enforcement officials the man arrived by taxi and bought 6 pounds of smokeless gunpowder, three boxes of shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a semi-automatic pistol.
The actions of the gun store clerk evidence the difference that experience can make in life or death situations. Earlier this year, on May 11, a man tried to enter Fort Leonard Wood army base in Missouri with an AK-47 and other weapons in his vehicle. Police said the man later identified as Cody Wilcoxson tried to enter the base’s west gate but was told to leave by a U.S. Military trained security guard who determined the man’s identification card didn’t look legitimate. Wilcoxen got back into a silver Dodge and floored his way through the gate, and then led military police on a chase that ended when he drove back out through the front gate. Military police followed him and he exited Fort Leonard Wood and then called the St. Roberts police to take over. Officials say he was on the military property for less than five minutes.