The 21-year-old soldier arrested today for allegedly plotting to attack Fort Hood appears to be the same “conscientious objector” who was viewed as a peacemaker by anti-war activists last year, after he refused to serve in Afghanistan or Iraq because he claimed it violated his Muslim faith.
When Pfc. Naser Abdo applied for CO status last year, the utterly discredited Iraq Veterans Against the War organization posted a message in support of him on its website, and asked readers to donate to his legal defense fund. And Kimber Heinz, a writer for the far-left website Truthout, unluckily chose to profile Abdo in a 2010 article entitled, “One Year After Fort Hood: The Missing Story of Muslim Peacemaking.”
“We must lift up the stories and ongoing work of Muslim peacemakers like Naser Abdo,” Heinz wrote.
CNN and Al Jazeera also both featured glowing segments on Abdo’s quest to obtain CO status.
But there were others who immediately condemned Abdo’s attempt to dodge combat service. The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, an organization led by Dr. Zhudi Jasser, urged the military to reject Abdo’s request last year.
“[The AIFD] takes deep exception with claims from PFC Nasser Abdo regarding his application for Conscientious Objector (CO) status from the U.S. Army,” the organization wrote in a statement. “AIFD sees Abdo’s traitorous public assertions as a slap in the face to all American Muslims,especially those Muslims who fight in our armed forces for the liberty and freedom guaranteed by the American Constitution.”
The AIFD wrote that Abdo was only opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in order to qualify for CO status, a soldier typically has to oppose war in general. This raises questions about how and why he was given CO status in the first place. Did the military want to keep him in the country because it had reason to believe he could be a threat? Or were there concerns this might turn into a discrimination issue?
Either way, this story is a reminder that the U.S. must constantly remain vigilant against the threat of homegrown and lone wolf terrorism. The recent attack in Norway showed the extensive damage even one single, committed terrorist can cause.