A soldier accused of plotting to bomb Fort Hood troops is wearing a mask during jury selection at his federal trial -- the first time his face has been covered in court.
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo is accused of biting through his lip and spitting blood on authorities escorting him after a recent hearing. He's also accused of spitting blood on a jailer.
In court Monday, several U.S. marshals standing near Abdo wore protective glasses. Abdo wore an oval mask covering his nose and mouth.
McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch says he can't comment on why Abdo is wearing a mask. A gag order prevents attorneys from discussing the case publicly.
Abdo is accused of planning to bomb a Killeen restaurant filled with Fort Hood soldiers last summer. A handgun and bomb-making material were found in his hotel room in July, 2011.
While leaving a court appearance shortly after his arrest, Abdo shouted "Nidal Hasan, Fort Hood 2009." Hasan is the army major accused of killing 13 and wounding 30 during an attack on Fort Hood in 2009.
In November of 2011, Abdo told a Tennessee television station that he orginally planned an attack on his home post of Fort Campbell, Ky.
Abdo's trial was originally scheduled to begin in January, but was delayed until May so that his defense team could have more time to prepare.
If convicted, Abdo could face life in prison.