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AWOL soldier condemned ‘09 Fort Hood shootings
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said neither the military nor the task force discovered anything at the time to indicate Abdo was planning an attack, the official said.
As the first anniversary of the 2009 Fort Hood rampage approached, Abdo sent to the AP the essay describing how he became a “different Muslim” after going through basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and enduring religious harassment.
“Often times, during basic training the trainees would insult Islam and insult Muslims,” he wrote. As a result, Abdo said he grew reclusive and stopped socializing.
“Little did I know that when I first became a Muslim that I was going to learn what Islam meant to me and what I was willing to sacrifice for it,” he wrote.
Abdo said life was better after he arrived at his first duty station, but that he studied Islam more closely as he neared deployment to learn “whether going to war was the right thing to do Islamically.”
“I began to understand and believe that only God can give legitimacy to war and not humankind,” he wrote. “That’s when I realized my conscience would not allow me to deploy.”
His application was filed in June 2010. Abdo wrote that if it was granted, he looked forward to “rejoining the Muslim community in Dallas and spending some time on ‘The path of Allah.” He said he would devote days or weeks travelling to other states and sleeping in mosques to “revive the faith of the Muslim nation.”
The Army’s Conscientious Objector Review board denied his request, but the deputy assistant secretary of the Army Review Boards Agency recommended this year he be separated from the Army as a conscientious objector. The discharge was delayed when he was charged with possession of child pornography on May 13.
Fort Campbell civilian spokesman Bob Jenkins said Abdo had been aware of the child pornography investigation since November.
“He exhibited behavior that alerted our staff and our staff refused to, based upon that behavior, sell him a firearm,” he said.
The AP was among the media outlets to interview Abdo in the past year when reporting on his request for objector status. On July 12, Abdo contacted an AP reporter with whom he had spoken previously, said he had gone AWOL and considered purchasing a gun for personal protection. Abdo said he had not yet done so, because he knew he would have to give his name and other information to the gun dealer.
The AP described the contents of this conversation on July 14 to a civilian Army spokesman. The next day, when contacted by Army investigators, the AP said it did not know Abdo’s location and provided the telephone number from which he made his original call.
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