Missing US Army soldier Jason Abdo Nassar, who was arrested near Fort Hood with bomb-making materials, will face Federal charges on Thursday. Nassar was arrested in his hotel room near Fort Hood, Texas, and he was in possession of bomb-making materials, according to the FBI.
It is the second time in a month that a US military member has been arrested with suspected bomb-making materials. Last month, a 22-year-old military man was arrested near the Pentagon in suspicious circumstances. Yonathan Melaku, a Lance Corporal Marine Corps reservist, was arrested at Arlington Cemetery near the Pentagon. It was reported that a bag recovered from his car contained ammonium nitrate, ammunition and al Qaeda literature. Later tests established that the material found on him were not explosive.
Fort Hood has been in spotlight ever since an Army psychiatrist went into a shooting rampage there in 2009, killing 13 people.
The Fort Hood shooting had fanned the fear of Muslim military personnel engaging in extremist violence and heightened the latent tensions within the military.
The military could not establish if the mass killing by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan at the Fort Hood was an act of terrorism, even as some politicians demanded a probe into the various angles of the crime.
Another shocking incident took place in 2003 when Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar killed two soldiers and wounded 14 when he threw a grenade into a tent. Sgt. Akbar, a convert to Islam, was sentenced to death. It emerged that he believed the U.S. military was killing innocent Muslim civilians.
The 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that followed it, presented the US military with a unique problem surrounding military personnel belonging to the Muslim faith.
The military decided to recruit more Muslims, hoping it will contribute to more cultural diversity and lessen prejudices against serving Muslim Americans.
However, the specter of Muslim soldiers being won over by terror ideologies remained a live threat. And soon the situation became more complex, with the US entering into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Muslim soldiers in the US military were severely torn between the sense of national duty and the fear of killing innocent fellow Muslims.
The Fort Hood shooting had exasperated those tensions.