Nation & World Briefly July 29
Army alert says AWOL soldier admits he planned an attack on Fort Hood
KILLEEN, Texas (AP) – An AWOL soldier who had weapons stashed in a motel room near Fort Hood has admitted planning an attack on the Texas post, where 13 people died in 2009 in the worst mass shooting ever on a U.S. military installation, the Army said in an alert issued Thursday.
Pfc. Naser Abdo, a 21-year-old soldier granted conscientious objector status this year after he said his Muslim beliefs prevented him from fighting, was arrested Wednesday. Agents found firearms and “items that could be identified as bomb-making components, including gunpowder,” in his motel room, according to FBI spokesman Erik Vasys.
The Army alert sent via email and obtained by The Associated Press says Killeen police arrested Abdo after a tip from the owners of a gun shop and that he “was in possession of a large quantity of ammunition, weapons and a bomb inside a backpack.”
Upon questioning, the alert says, he admitted planning an attack on Fort Hood.
Officials have not offered details about Abdo’s possible intentions. The infantry soldier from Fort Campbell, Ky., whose hometown is Garland, Texas, applied for conscientious objector status last year. A military review board recommended this spring that he be separated from the Army.
Norway’s ‘lone-wolf’ attacks stir fears of extreme-right resurgence in Europe
OSLO, Norway (AP) – Norway casts it as the isolated act of a lone-wolf terrorist whose boasts of a far-flung network of anti-Muslim warriors were the fantasies of a deranged mind.
European officials at an emergency counter-terror meeting see a continent-wide threat from right-wing extremists amid mounting Islamophobia – and warn of possible copycats.
Two visions of the Norway atrocity emerged Thursday as Europe gropes for answers following the massacre that claimed 78 lives.
The twin attacks carried out by Anders Behring Breivik have stirred questions in Europe about whether authorities have neglected the threat of right-wing extremists in their push to crack down on Islamist terror groups after 9/11.
Security officials insist they have not, and statistics from the European police agency Europol show no surge in right-wing terror.
Bachmann defends family, business, says it’s she, not her husband, who’s seeking White House
WASHINGTON (AP) – Rep. Michele Bachmann steadfastly refused Thursday to answer questions about her family’s business and finances, saying that she – not her husband – was the one seeking the White House.
The Minnesota Republican faced queries about Marcus Bachmann’s Christian counseling clinic that attempts to convert gay patients as well as her own beliefs on sexuality during a luncheon at the National Press Club. With her husband sitting nearby, Bachmann said she expected scrutiny as a candidate but questions about her family were off-limits.
“I’m running for the presidency of the United States. My husband is not running for the presidency. Neither are my children. Neither is our business,” she said.
“I am more than happy to stand for questions on running for the presidency of the United States,” she continued. “I have no doubt that every jot and tittle of my life will be fully looked at and inspected prior to November of 2012.”
Bachmann, who is campaigning hard ahead of next month’s debate and straw poll in Iowa, has steadfastly refused to discuss the family’s business that has faced criticism from gay rights groups. When asked to describe her beliefs on gay therapy, Michele Bachmann said she loved her husband of 32 years and then said her husband was not a campaign issue.
Police go door to door in search for NH girl, 11
STEWARTSTOWN, N.H. (AP) – Dozens of investigators from state and federal agencies are working out of a school in northern New Hampshire in their efforts to find a missing 11-year-old girl.
Police went door to door in Stewartstown on Thursday asking residents for any information they might have about the disappearance of Celina Cass, and townspeople are passing out fliers. The girl had last been seen when she went to bed Monday night.
Jane Young of the New Hampshire attorney general’s office says investigators are leaving no stone unturned. Across the border, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Quebec were alerted to the girl’s disappearance, but there had been no sightings as of late Thursday.
Police have said that there’s no indication she ran away and there were no signs of a struggle.