Pfc. Naser Abdo in police booking photo.
An anti-war group calling itself Courage to Resist started a legal defense fund for Pfc. Naser Abdo, the Muslim soldier arrested Wednesday who reportedly admitted planning a terror attack on Fort Hood soldiers, WND has learned.
The organization last year also featured Abdo, 21, in its newsletter, branding him a “Muslim peacemaker.”
Less than a year after the Fort Hood shooting massacre by Muslim U.S. Army major Nidal Malik Hasan, Abdo was caught this week with a bomb in a backpack and weapons stashed in a motel room meant for another attack at the base.
Yesterday, RawStory.com reported Abdo has ties to a number of anti-war organizations, including Iraq Veterans Against the War and Courage to Resist.
Both groups supported Abdo’s petition for conscientious objector status, which he was eventually granted after he wrote in an application he that he was conflicted about “whether going to war was the right thing to do Islamically.”
WND has learned that Courage to Resist initiated a legal defense fund for Abdo’s conscientious objector petition. The fund is still available online.
In its December 2010 newsletter, Courage to Resist promoted Abdo as a “Muslim peacemaker.” The group wrote an item on Abdo entitled “The missing story of a Muslim peacemaker.”
Stated the newsletter:
The problem is that almost the only time Muslims are featured in the media is when a Muslim engages in an act of violence. A one-sided focus on violence committed by some Muslims fuels the racist narrative that “Islam is a religion of violence” – which underwrites the so-called “Global War on Terror.”
Private First Class Naser Abdo, a 20-year-old Muslim service member currently serving in the US Army and seeking conscientious objector status on the grounds of Islam, is a Muslim peacemaker.
The newsletter quoted Abdo as stating, “As I studied Islam and Islam’s commitment to peace, I developed an entirely new perspective on war and conscience. … That’s when I realized my conscience would not allow me to deploy.”
The newsletter noted Abdo was speaking out as a Muslim. It quoted him as stating he is “against war” and has been working with anti-war organizations, including the War Resisters League and Quaker House in Fayetteville, N.C., on building public support for his “objection to war on the grounds of Islam.”
Abdo told the newsletter that in the Army he faced harassment from fellow soldiers:
“Early in basic training … one soldier repeatedly insulted me and Islam saying, ‘Go pray to your god that doesn’t exist or your pedophile prophet,'” he said.
Abdo claimed that “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.”
While Courage to Resist’s legal defense fund for Abdo is still online, Raw Story reported that in the wake of Abdo’s arrest, the group removed a page on their website that detailed the Muslim soldier’s plight. That page was preserved through Google cache.
Iraq Veterans Against the War also supported Abdo’s petition to leave the army.
That anti-war group released the following statement yesterday: “As we await additional information on the details of Abdo’s arrest, IVAW reiterates its commitment to non-violence.”
Earlier this week, an Army email alert reportedly warned Abdo “was in possession of a large quantity of ammunition, weapons and a bomb inside a backpack” and that upon questioning by law enforcement officials he admitted planning an attack on Fort Hood soldiers.
Agents reportedly found firearms and “items that could be identified as bomb-making components, including gunpowder,” in Abdo’s motel room, according to FBI spokesman Erik Vasys.
Abdo was approved as a conscientious objector this year, but ABC News reported his discharge was put on hold amid military charges that 34 images of child pornography were found on a computer he used.
He went absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Ky., during the July 4 weekend.
Abdo reportedly drew attention to himself when he tried to buy a gun July 3 at the same store near his Kentucky post where Hasan allegedly purchased the weapon he used in his terror attack.
Store clerk Greg Ebert reportedly told police Abdo purchased six pounds of smokeless gunpowder, three boxes of shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a semi-automatic pistol.
Ebert told the Associated Press he called authorities because he and his co-workers “felt uncomfortable with his overall demeanor and the fact he didn’t know what the hell he was buying.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott