Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Federal Grand Jury Returns Superseding Indictment Against Naser Jason Abdo in Connection with Bomb Plot
New Federal Charges Include Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction and Attempted Murder
United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Cory B. Nelson announced that 21-year-old Naser Jason Abdo faces new charges in connection with a July bomb plot in Killeen, Texas.
This afternoon, a federal grand jury in Waco returned a superseding indictment against Abdo charging him with one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction; one count of attempted murder of officers or employees of the United States, two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal crime of violence; and two counts of possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a federal crime of violence.
The six-count superseding indictment specifically alleges that on July 27, 2011, Abdo unlawfully attempted to create and detonate a bomb in an attempt to kill, with pre-meditation and malice aforethought, members of the uniformed services of the United States and to shoot survivors of said detonation with a firearm. The indictment further alleges that on July 27, 2011, Abdo did knowingly possess a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol while carrying out his plot.
According to court records, officers with the Killeen Police Department arrested Abdo on July 27, 2011. At the time of his arrest, the defendant, an absent without leave (AWOL) soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was in possession of the handgun, plus instructions on how to build a bomb as well as bomb making components. Court documents also allege that Abdo intended to detonate the destructive device inside an unspecified restaurant frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood.
The federal grand jury returned an initial indictment in this case on August 9, 2011. While those charges—possession of an unregistered destructive device, possession of a firearm by a fugitive from justice and possession of ammunition by a fugitive from justice—remain in effect, prosecutors will first proceed on the charges contained in the superseding indictment.
Abdo remains in federal custody. If convicted of the charges contained in the superseding indictment, Abdo faces up to life in federal prison for the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction charge; up to 20 years in federal prison for the attempted murder charge; a mandatory 30 years’ imprisonment for each possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a federal crime of violence charge; and, a mandatory five years in federal prison for each possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal crime of violence charge.
This case is being investigated by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Killeen Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Frazier and Gregg Sofer are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.