Jihadist materials were found the Killeen hotel room of AWOL Ft. Campbell soldier, Nasser Abdo. The American Muslim from Garland, Texas is now in the Killeen City Jail after being arrested for a suspected terror plot targeting military personnel in the Ft. Hood area.
KCEN-HD News spoke exclusively Thursday to former terrorist, Walid Shoebat, who is pointing to the parallels between Abdo's arrest and the 2009 shooting massacre on post.
Shoebat says it is no coincidence that this Ft. Campbell soldier would head down to Ft. Hood, where he reportedly purchased gun powder and ammunition from a local gun store.
Shoebat was once an Islamic extremist, actively involved in terror plots in the United States and abroad, but speaks out against these acts now as a converted Christian. He says it is obvious Abdo was trying to follow in the footsteps of alleged Ft. Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan, from shopping at the same gun store to targeting military personnel in the same area. "To him, Nidal Malik Hasan was a hero and he wanted to basically glorify Nidal Malik Hasan to assure the Muslim world there are other Jihadists," says Shoebat.
We talked to several experts on terrorism and Islam to get their take on this foiled plot. Dr. Danny Davis with the George Bush School for Government and Public Service heads the homeland security certification program. He says, "The bigger splash they (terrorists) can make, the more impact they can have on a society. That's what they're shooting for."
Christian vanGorder is an associate professor of Islamic studies at Baylor University. He says it is not an accurate connection to link Muslims to acts of terror. "The holy Quran does teach Muslims that they have the right to defend themselves if and when they're attacked," he says, "but the Quran also teaches that it's forbidden to initiate any type of aggressive violence."
Abdo told national media outlets in previous interviews that he had been ridiculed by other soldiers because of his Islamic faith.
The arrest of another Islamic extremist soldier near Ft. Hood brings the issue of military screenings for service members into question. But vanGorder says there are countless patriotic Muslims who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to the country and people should not be profiled because of their religious beliefs. "That would be a really dangerous road to go down to start promoting the idea that one type of American is less able or eligible to serve their country," he says.
Local Muslims we talked to say they detest any acts of terror and they do not line up with fundamental Islamic beliefs.