Remember the kid who was AWOL (Absent without leave) from the Army and caught hatching a plot (and moving forward with it, evidently substantially) to bomb a restaurant frequented by soldiers from Ft. Hood? His name is Naser Abdo. Today, he was sentenced in federal court to a long, long time in jail. I’m posting thoughts/opinions to a couple of frequently asked questions from email, based on my cursory review of media reports.
- He was tried, convicted, and sentenced in federal court, not military court.
- While the military was likely kept informed as to his status, I doubt they had any other role in the court proceedings.
- He went AWOL from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky after an Article 32 investigation (military equivalent to a grand jury) recommended a General Court-Martial for alleged child pornography found on Abdo’s government-issued computer.
- I anticipate that the military will take no further judicial action, but they will take action to administratively separate him with some form of less-than-honorable discharge. I would be surprised if this process has not already substantially progressed. Information about administrative proceedings against him will be protected by the Privacy Act.
- According to what I read, he applied for conscientious objector status and was granted a discharge on that basis. However, the CO discharge was paused due to the court-martial charges. I highly doubt this process will be resumed. Rather, the Army will pursue a discharge based on misconduct.