An AWOL U.S. soldier facing a court-martial was planning an attack on "military personnel" when he was arrested with bomb-making materials near the U.S. military base at Fort Hood, authorities say.
Killeen police arrested Pfc. Nasser J. Abdo, 21, of Garland, Texas, on Wednesday at a motel near Fort Hood, police said.
Abdo, who was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., was arrested at an America's Best Value Inn on South Fort Hood Road.
Police went to Abdo's motel room on a tip from a gun dealer who said Abdo was asking suspicious questions about components often used in pipe bombs. Explosives were found in the room and in a backpack, the officials said.
Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin credited the tip for the arrest saying, "We would probably be here today giving a different briefing had he not been stopped," during a press conference Thursday.
Baldwin also noted in a press conference Thursday that Abdo will face federal charges and that he targeted military personnel in the attack.
Police said Abdo was arrested on a child pornography warrant, police said. He had been wanted since he went AWOL earlier this month after he was recommended for a court-martial in a child pornography investigation at Fort Campbell.
Abdo was approved for conscientious objector status last year after he argued that his Muslim beliefs prohibited military service, but his discharge was put on hold pending resolution of the child pornography charges.
Abdo had a Facebook fan page titled "Free Nasser Abdo," that was deleted around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The page was made to support his fight to leave the military and be granted Conscientious Objection. The last post was just after his investigative officers hearing at Fort Campbell last October.
Abdo said that he believed he was being discriminated against, NBC station WLEX-TV of Lexington, Ky., reported. The gun store where Abdo was first identified by a clerk was the same Killeen store where the suspect in the 2009 shootings, Maj. Nidal Hasan, bought a gun, ammunition and laser sights that he allegedly used.
Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) released a statement today regarding Abdo's arrest saying, "I commend local law enforcement and the citizens of the Fort Hood community for acting swiftly to bring this potentially dangerous individual into custody. Yesterday's incident is yet another reminder that we must stay vigilant against those who wish to attack innocent Americans."
Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Hutchinson (R-Texas) released statements praising the Killeen Police and the Killeen community for their quick response.
"Today's arrest is a sobering reminder of the importance of remaining vigilant in the ongoing efforts to protect our communities from those that would do us harm," Gov. Perry said.
MSNBC and CNN contributed to this report