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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, July 29, 2011

Of radical goat-rapism, desertion, child porn, conscientious objectors, and murdering innocent restaurant patrons...

Or, the Religion of Peace, Love, and Understanding [Sorry, Declan.] strikes again:

From the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

Fort Hood terror plot was thwarted by gun store's tip

KILLEEN, Texas — Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo carefully cultivated an image of a peace lover, both inside the Army and outside it.

An infantryman from Garland who enlisted in 2009, Abdo filed for conscientious-objector status last year shortly before his 101st Airborne Division unit deployed to Afghanistan, citing his Muslim faith as the reason he could not go to war.

He gave several interviews, including one to CNN in which he said he "started really asking myself whether God would accept what I was doing and whether I was really meant to go to war, as opposed to the peace that Islam preaches."

On Thursday night, Abdo, 21, was in custody, accused of plotting to kill by bullet and bomb fellow soldiers in a frightening reprise of the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood.

The plot started to unravel Tuesday afternoon after a retired police officer who works at a gun store in Killeen became suspicious of a customer's purchases and his behavior, including that he was traveling in a taxi.

Abdo was arrested Wednesday at a Killeen motel, where authorities found firearms and "items that could be identified as bomb-making components, including gunpowder," FBI spokesman Erik Vasys said.

According to an Army alert obtained by The Associated Press, Abdo "was in possession of a large quantity of ammunition, weapons and a bomb inside a backpack," and upon questioning, he admitted planning an attack on Fort Hood.

Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin said Abdo was close to pulling off a "terror plot" in which the target was troops based at Fort Hood, although there are indications that Abdo was eyeing an off-post location.

"We would probably be here today giving you a different briefing had he not been stopped," Baldwin said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The early investigation, led by the FBI, has led officials to believe that Abdo did not have accomplices, Baldwin said.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, who represents the area, said the suspect might have been targeting a restaurant.

"Speculation based on conversations I've had with law enforcement is that he was trying to find where Fort Hood soldiers gathered off-post," Carter said. "He was planning on one or two bombs and to finish everyone off with a handgun."

I could only find two articles that even mentioned the desertion enablers from "Courage To Resist" and Iraq Veterans Against the War -

From the Killeen Daily Herald:

AWOL Soldier Charged With Ft. Hood Terror Plot

AWOL soldier Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, 21, remains in Killeen City Jail with federal charges pending in what has been described as a foiled terror plot aimed at military personnel.

Killeen police, along with the assistance of numerous local, state and federal law enforcement, arrested Abdo Wednesday after receiving a tip from a local gun shop employee. Abdo purchased several pounds of gunpowder that authorities believe he was using to create a bomb.

An Army alert email obtained by The Associated Press says Abdo "was in possession of a large quantity of ammunition, weapons and a bomb inside a backpack." While being questioned, the alert states, Abdo admitted to planning an attack on Fort Hood.

Police arrested Abdo on a warrant of possession of child pornography out of Fort Campbell, Ky. Abdo went AWOL from Fort Campbell on July 4, said U.S. Army spokesman Troy Rolan at the Pentagon.

At Fort Campbell, Abdo was assigned to Echo Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team (Rear Provisional), 101st Airborne Division. He entered service in March 2009 and is from Garland.

Killeen Police Department Chief Dennis Baldwin said Thursday that if not for the tip from Guns Galore clerk Greg Ebert, Abdo might have been able to carry out an attack. Besides purchasing the gunpowder Tuesday, Abdo also obtained shotgun shells and an extra magazine for a pistol from the store.

"I can probably tell you that we would be having a different briefing today if we hadn't arrested him," Baldwin said during a news conference.

Just after 2 p.m. Wednesday, authorities from KPD, Fort Hood and officials from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies raided a hotel room at the American Best Value Inn on South Fort Hood Street. Inside, officials seized materials they believe were to be used as components to create a bomb.

Baldwin declined to provide specifics but stated that it appeared as though Abdo had formulated a "terror plot" against "military personnel" as the intended target either on post or in Killeen.

FBI spokesman Erik Vasys said he anticipates federal bomb-making charges will be filed against Abdo. Once filed, U.S. Marshals will take Abdo into custody for an appearance before a federal magistrate in Waco.

Baldwin and Vasys would not comment on the nature of the bomb-making materials found or reports of jihadist literature in Abdo's possession because of the ongoing investigation.

Through past experiences with the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting at Fort Hood and the Luby's massacre in 1991, Baldwin said KPD was equipped to act fast.

"We're probably more familiar with this kind of environment than most communities, unfortunately," he said.

The conscientious objector

Abdo's filing for conscientious objector status was highlighted by several national media outlets in August 2010. He cited his Muslim faith as one reason he could not serve in Afghanistan. When he received orders for deployment, he protested and sought to be discharged from the Army.

According to Abdo's lawyer, James Branum, who represented the solider at Fort Campbell, discharge papers moved forward in May. Fort Campbell commanders initially denied Abdo's request, but Abdo won an appeal with Pentagon officials.

Just days after the successful appeal, discharge orders were placed on hold when the Army charged Abdo with possession of child pornography on May 13.

On June 15, an Article 32 investigation — hearings similar to a grand jury — confirmed charges against Abdo. He was on his way to being court-martialed at Fort Campbell when he went AWOL during the Fourth of July weekend, Rolan said.

However, Branum is not representing Abdo for any federal charges that might be filed in connection with Wednesday's arrest. "I haven't spoken to (Abdo) in quite awhile," he said.

A change in personality

Jeff Paterson, a project director with Courage to Resist, a nonprofit in Oakland, Calif., said the child pornography charges struck a blow to Abdo's mental state. Courage to Resist helped fund Abdo's legal defense in his conscientious objection.

Paterson said Abdo became "despondent" and "nihilistic." Abdo worried about what he would do with a child pornography charge on his record.

Paterson said he and Abdo clashed over the soldier's misogynistic attitudes that he based in Islam.

Clues of Abdo's troubling intentions showed up in Facebook posts, but Paterson said he thought they were just signs of depression regarding his impending court-martial.

"He was saying things like, 'I'm not going to be around very much longer. You're not going to hear from me. I don't know what's going to happen to me,'" Paterson said. Then, the updates stopped.

Abdo's Facebook page was taken down Thursday afternoon. A version accessed prior to its removal showed a conflict between his faith and his military service.

"Prayer and reflection have helped me to understand that I cannot be a soldier in the U.S. Army and continue to remain true to Islam as I now understand it," Abdo wrote on his Facebook profile.

Abdo approached Courage to Resist in August 2010. Paterson said Abdo's initial goal was to be a positive example of Muslims around the world. He sought to promote peace among the Islamic community.

"Unfortunately, he became an example of everything he wanted to be the opposite of," Paterson said.

A 'lone wolf'

A homeland security expert at Texas A&M University said Thursday Abdo's actions were eerily similar to some of the more devastating terrorist attacks across the nation and around the world.

Danny Davis, head of the homeland security certification program at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at TAMU, said the actions reminded him of tactics first theorized during the heights of the Cold War that many terrorists have used in recent years.

KPD and FBI authorities said Thursday that Abdo acted alone.

Davis said Abdo acted as a "lone wolf," drawing similarities between Abdo and Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in connection to the Nov. 5, 2009, Fort Hood shooting.

"At some point he (Abdo) was radicalized and decided to take action against his country for his religion," Davis said.

From Politico:

Soldier arrested in Ft. Hood plot

An AWOL soldier who had refused to serve in Afghanistan because of his Muslim beliefs was arrested near Fort Hood, Texas, on Thursday, where he reportedly was planning to attack soldiers outside the base.

The soldier, Pfc. Naser J. Abdo, could face federal charges after authorities found bomb-making materials in his hotel room near Fort Hood. Abdo admitted plotting what would have been Fort Hood’s second terrorist attack in as many years, the Associated Press reported.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychologist, has been charged with killing 13 people and wounding 30 in a November 2009 attack on soldiers preparing for deployment, and now faces the death penalty at an upcoming court-martial.

Like Abdo, Hasan was a Muslim, and investigations indicated he was motivated by extremist Islamist beliefs.

Abdo, who is of Palestinian origin, is from the Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas. He joined the Army in March 2009 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., in July of that year.

He had been granted conscientious objector status after a public campaign against deployment in which he arguing that serving in war contradicted his Muslim beliefs. That status was put on hold in May after military authorities charged him with possessing child pornography, Army spokesman George Wright said. Abdo went absent without leave on July 4, after the charges against him were referred to a court-martial, Wright said.

In an interview with CNN in August, Abdo said he didn’t initially believe his faith would be an issue in his military service, but he became more concerned as the expected date of his deployment to Afghanistan approached.

In a statement read at an October news conference in New York organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, Abdo said, “To a soldier, the association of terror and Islam serves the purpose of falsely justifying ones actions in combat by stripping Muslims of their humanity. … Only when the military and America can disassociate Muslims with terror can we move onto a brighter future of the religious collaboration and dialogue that defines America and makes me proud to be an American.”

Killeen, Texas, police spokeswoman Carol Smith said Abdo was arrested Wednesday on the outstanding child pornography warrant.

Police Chief Dennis Baldwin later told reporters that it appears Abdo had acted alone, though he added that federal authorities are investigating whether he had any co-conspirators. He also said police are classifying the plot as an attempted act of terror.

Baldwin said Abdo was being held in the local jail. He declined to comment on whether Abdo is cooperating with investigators.

When asked how close Abdo was to carrying out his attack, Baldwin demurred and said only that “we would probably be here today giving a different briefing had he not been found.”

Abdo came to the attention of authorities after he purchased smokeless gunpowder at a Killeen gun store, which raised red flags with employees who alerted the police, according to Fox News. Smokeless gunpowder can be used as a triggering substance in bombs.

When they raided Abdo’s hotel room, authorities found shotgun shells, gunpowder, 18 pounds of sugar, a pressure cooker and ammunition, CNN reported.

According to local media, Abdo had bought an Army uniform and Fort Hood patches at a nearby Army surplus store.

The gun store that raised the alert — Guns Galore — was the same one where Hasan allegedly purchased guns and ammunition for the shooting rampage he is accused of committing.

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