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WACO

Jury selected for Abdo trial

by Brandon Hartman and Adam Shear

WACO - More than ten months after his foiled plot to kill Fort Hood troops the trial for the AWOL soldier accused of trying to use a weapon of mass destruction is underway.

Monday in the Federal Court in Waco, Naser Jason Abdo sat in the courtroom wearing a white surgeon's mask as the 12 person jury was selected that will decide his fate.

Abdo is wearing the mask as a safety precaution because of an incident a few weeks ago where he bit himself and then spit blood at the U.S. Marshals who were escorting him. After that incident Abdo wrote a letter to the Waco Tribune-Herald in which he claimed that he had infected himself with the HIV virus prior to the incident.

The U.S. Marshals in the courtroom also wore safety glasses to improve security.

Abdo is facing counts involving attempting to murder members of the U.S. Military, attempting to use a destructive device, and possession of dangerous weapons and explosives. All the charges stem from his alleged role in a plot to bomb a popular restaurant on Fort Hood dating back to 2011.

Several of the potential jurors who were interviewed in court Monday afternoon claimed their opinion of Abdo had already been compromised because of their previous knowledge of Abdo's case. One man even claimed he already thought Abdo was guilty.

Those people were dismissed from jury duty, as were several others for various reasons. The jury selection finished just before 5:00 p.m. on Monday.

Abdo has been in court for several pre-trial hearings since he was arrested back in July. During his last hearing, prosecutors showed video of Abdo at a Killeen gun store where he reportedly bought bomb-making items. When the hearing was over, he spat on U.S. Marshals while riding in an elevator with them.

Abdo had admitted to the plan on a police camera. His lawyers were unsuccessful in getting the confession thrown out.

According to the attorneys handling the case they expect to finish the case on Friday.

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