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Soldier shouts alleged Fort Hood killer name in court

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By Sandra Sanchez

WACO, Texas (Reuters) - Army soldier Naser Jason Abdo shouted the name of a military psychiatrist accused of a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, during his first appearance in court on Friday on a charge related to an alleged terror plot.

Abdo, 21, was formally charged with illegal possession of a firearm two days after his arrest in a Killeen, Texas, motel room in possession of suspected bomb-making materials.

"Abeer Qassim al-Janabi Iraq 2006; Nidal Hasan, Fort Hood, 2009," Abdo shouted at the media as he was led out of the Waco courtroom.

The name Al-Janabi refers to a 14-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by American soldiers in Iraq in 2006. Several soldiers have been charged and sentenced, including a soldier from Midland, Texas.

Nidal Hasan is a military psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 at a medical facility on Fort Hood in 2009. Hasan, who is in a wheelchair after being shot by police during the attack, faces court martial next year.

Abdo's outburst was the first public indication of his possible intentions when he was arrested.

After his arrest on Wednesday, he told the FBI that his plan was to attack Fort Hood and blow up a local restaurant, according to an FBI affidavit filed with the charges on Friday.

Authorities have said they expect more federal charges to follow. Another hearing was set for August 4.

Abdo is a native of the Dallas area, but authorities at first said they did not know of any connection to Killeen or why he picked Fort Hood.

Abdo has been missing from his Fort Campbell, Kentucky, post since July 4 and was being held in connection with an unrelated pornography warrant.

Abdo was granted conscientious objector status by the U.S. military earlier this year because his Muslim beliefs clashed with military action overseas. But that was suspended following the pornography charge.

He was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a call from Greg Ebert, an employee at a Killeen gun shop, who told Reuters he was concerned when Abdo bought ammunition and smokeless powder.

It was the same gun shop where Hasan bought his weapons two years ago.

An affidavit by FBI agent James Runkel said Abdo told police he intended to conduct an attack against Killeen and Fort Hood.

He also indicated in response to questions that there were explosives in his backpack and in his hotel room, Runkel said.

His backpack was searched and the officers found a handgun, ammunition, items that can be used to construct a "destructive device," and an article entitled, "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom," Runkel said.

He said FBI personnel then interviewed Abdo on July 27 and he, "admitted that he planned to assemble two bombs in the hotel room using gun powder and shrapnel packed into pressure cookers to detonate inside an unspecified restaurant frequented by solders from Fort Hood."

In the brief court hearing, U.S. Magistrate Jeffrey C. Manske declared Abdo held without bond, citing a charge of absent without leave from the Army and previous charge relating to child pornography.

Abdo was stoic throughout the five-minute proceeding and was surrounded by eight U.S. Marshalls. Two marshals had to prompt him to stand when Judge Manske entered the courtroom.

Abdo answered respectfully and affirmatively when asked whether he understood the charge. The judge asked him whether he had any conditions that would impair his ability to understand the proceedings, and Abdo said "No."

(Writing by Karen Brooks; Editing by Greg McCune)