A soldier accused of planning to bomb Fort Hood troops in a restaurant last summer wore a mask in court for the first time Monday as a jury was selected in his federal trial.
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, who has been accused of spitting blood on authorities escorting him, wore an oval mask over his nose and mouth. Several U.S. marshals seated near him in the Texas courtroom wore protective glasses.
Abdo, a Muslim soldier who was AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., is accused of planning to bomb a restaurant in Killeen that was filled with soldiers from nearby Fort Hood and then shoot any survivors.
He faces up to life in prison if convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and five other charges. Opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Waco, about 50 miles northeast of Killeen. Abdo, 22, is not being tried in military court.
His lead defense attorney, Zachary Boyd, referred to the mask while questioning potential jurors Monday.