Just as testimony is expected to wrap up in the federal trial of a Muslim soldier accused of planning to bomb a Texas restaurant filled with Fort Hood troops, details surrounding the role of his Islamic faith in the alleged actions are continuing to emerge. While Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo claims that he wasn't seeking vengeance, he instead says that he was looking for justice for the Iraqi and Afghan people.
"Their suffering is my suffering," Abdo was heard telling his mother when she went to see him for a past jailhouse visit. The recorded conversation was played in the courtroom this week.
Abdo was also heard telling his mother that "it's all true" and "the reason is religion. There is no other reason." He says what he did was selfless because he was trying to avenge the United States' wrongful treatment of people he considers his family, and that he used every resource he had "to make things as right as possible."
"I'll be all right," he is heard saying. "I made this decision."
To apparently ensure that this purported justice was served, the 22-year-old is accused of planning to detonate a bomb inside a Killeen restaurant frequented by troops from the Texas Army post and then shoot any survivors.
Prosecutors claim that Abdo was already building the bomb when he was captured at a motel near Fort Hood back in July 2011. While this is the charge, defense attorneys maintain that no bomb was ever constructed. On Thursday, an FBI expert who built a device using the same materials that Abdo had in his possession will testify.
Abdo faces up to life in federal prison if convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and other charges. He was AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., when he was arrested last July.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.