We are learning more about the young soldier arrested for a suspected terror plot targeting Fort Hood military personnel.
21-year-old Private First Class Nasser Abdo, stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, went AWOL the weekend of July 4th.
He was arrested at a Killeen motel Wednesday afternoon. In his hotel room, investigators found bomb making materials and Jihadist literature.
Abdo was taken into custody just a day before law enforcement says the terror plot was set to take place off post. He is being held in the Killeen Jail until federal charges are filed.
Killeen Police, along with Fort Hood investigators and the FBI, spent the day questioning the AWOL soldier about the terror plot - that was caught before it was carried out, thanks to an unlikely tip.
Greg Ebert is a retired Killeen cop that now works at Guns Galore. After years in law enforcement, Ebert has not lost his sense of knowing when a person is suspicious. "He stands here and asks the manager, 'what is smokeless powder?' Well, my God, if you don't know what it is, why would you buy six pounds of it?" says Ebert.
That question, according to Ebert, came from Abdo, AWOL for three weeks and wanted on child pornography charges. "What kind of drew our attention to him as a patron is that he showed up in a taxi cab," says Ebert, "That's just kind of out of the norm."
That observation pushed Ebert to call the Killeen Police Department, who tracked down Abdo at America's Best Value Inn on South Fort Hood Street.
Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin says, "During the investigation, suspicious materials were located in his hotel room."
Those suspicious materials included six canisters of smokeless gun powder, three boxes of ammo, a magazine for a 40 caliber hand gun and Jihadist materials. "We would probably be here today giving you a different briefing had he not been stopped," says Baldwin.
Abdo was arrested without incident and taken in for questioning from local and federal authorities.
The young soldier has made national headlines for his fight for "conscientious objector" status.
A facebook page, deactivated Thursday around 1:30 p.m., sheds light on just how highly Abdo objected to a possible Afghanistan deployment. It is a message he expressed in a June 2011 interview with Nashville NBC affiliate, WSMV. "What matters to me is that I did the right thing in my book," says Abdo, "I refused to go to Afghanistan because it was against my Islamic conditions."
Baylor University Islamic Studies Professor Christian vanGorder says the foiled terror plot should not be linked to Islam. "When we see these types of terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam," says vanGorder, "they don't represent Islam any more than say for example a Christian would feel represented by people killing in the name of Christ."
It was just a year and a half ago that alleged Fort Hood shooter and radical Muslim, Nidal Hasan, killed 13 people and wounded 32 in a shooting rampage on post.
Abdo shopped at the same gun store as Hasan and planned to target military personnel in the same area.
Police Chief Baldwin says Abdo was fortunately stopped before anything could be carried out and that is a message the community can learn from. "Stay vigilant - not in fear, but certainly vigilant about what's going on around you," he says, "and again, don't wait for someone else to pick up the phone to call if you see something suspicious."
Congressman John Carter told other news outlets that Abdo had planned to set off two bombs at a restaurant close to post, then gun down the remaining survivors.
Carter's office also said the briefing they received confirmed an off-post attack, because the suspect said it would be too hard to get through security with the weapons.
We spoke with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's office Thursday night and they confirmed that the information that Rep. Carter provided was consistent with information their office had received. Sen. Hutchison's office, however, did not outline the specifics of the proposed attack.