A tip from an alert gun shop clerk in Texas may have foiled what police are calling a terror plot at Fort Hood at the hands of a soldier. The suspect, who is a private first class from Fort Campbell Kentucky, is facing the possibility of federal charges related to the plot. YNN's Chie Saito has the details.
TEXAS -- Little did he know that when he came into work at Guns Galore on Thursday, he would spend much of his day on the phone talking about another call he made back on Tuesday to the Killeen Police Department.
"On July 26, 2011, the Killeen Police Department received information regarding suspicious activity,” said Chief Dennis Baldwin.
Suspicions Ebert reported not because of what the customer bought, which included weapons, ammo and gunpowder, but a question he asked about what smokeless gun powder was.
"That's a red flag. You don't buy six pounds of this stuff and not know what it is or how it performs,” said Greg Ebert.
Police say that tip led to an investigation into PFC Naser Abdo, a soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky staying at a hotel in Killeen, wanted for going AWOL and child pornography charges.
Abdo was in the process of getting a discharge under the contentious objector status In the past he has been very vocal, even speaking out to the national media about not wanting to deploy because of his Muslim faith.
But now he stands accused of what police call a terror plot, with Fort Hood soldiers as the target.
"I can tell you that I would be standing here today giving a very different briefing if he had not been stopped,” said Baldwin.
Reminiscent of an actual attack that unfolded at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009, that's when prosecutors say, another soldier, Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at the Soldier Readiness Center, killing 13 and injuring dozens others.
But that's not where the similarities end. The gun store is the same store where Hasan allegedly bought his gun used in the shooting and even though Ebert wasn't the one who sold Hasan the gun, since then he says he's more alert.
"After what's happened in the last several years, very much so, very much so,” said Ebert.
And while the situation could have gone very wrong, it's the few minutes he took to stop and do what was right.
"The last thing I would accept is some kind of accolade that I'm some sort of hero. I'm not. I'm an average guy. I'm a Texan,” said Ebert.
That may have made a big difference.