Opening Statements to be Heard in Abdo Case

Accused soldier wearing mask in court


Federal prosecutors say a soldier was stopped hours before completing assembly of a bomb that he planned to detonate at a restaurant full of Fort Hood troops.

Prosecutors said Tuesday in opening statements at Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo's trial that the Muslim soldier intended to commit mass murder in Killeen, near Fort Hood.

FBI special agent C. Michael Owens -- the first prosecution witness -- has testified that Abdo said he went to Killeen to "martyr himself" for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defense attorneys countered in federal court in Waco that no bomb was ever built.

Abdo faces up to life in prison if convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and other charges.

Abdo has been accused of spitting blood on authorities while in custody and was wearing a mask Monday during jury selection in the Waco courtroom.

Abdo is a Muslim soldier who was AWOL from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, when he was arrested last summer at a motel in Killeen, near Fort Hood.

Authorities searched his backpack and motel room, and say they found ingredients for an explosive device. Abdo reportedly said he wanted to avenge the war in Afghanistan.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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