Army veteran charged with joining terrorists in Syria pleads guilty to lesser charge

American.JPGFox News

Ex-U.S. soldier Eric Harroun, who allegedly fought alongside an Al Qaeda affiliate against the forces of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Thursday and was sentenced to time served, The Military Times reported.

Harroun, a Phoenix native, was charged in June with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and conspiracy to use destructive devices overseas, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement. 

Those charges, one of which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted, were reduced to a charge of conspiring to violate arms-control laws, the report said.  U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton accepted the plea on the lesser charge.

The case posed a political dilemma for the Justice Department. Harroun was fighting for the Syrian rebels, who are supported by the Obama State Department.

According to court documents, Harroun allegedly participated in multiple attacks with Jabhat al-Nusra — an affiliate of Al Qaeda in Iraq — and was alleged to have “carried and used various firearms, including a sniper rifle, an AK-47 style machine gun, and a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) weapon” during his time fighting with al-Nusra. in March broke the story of Harroun’s alleged participation with the Al Qaeda affiliate. “I was separated in a battle and most of my [Free Syrian Army] group was K.I.A. and al-Nusra picked me up,” Harroun told during one of several brief interviews conducted via Skype.

Harroun, who at the time spoke to from Turkey before flying to the U.S., where he was taken into custody, dismissed a question about fighting alongside al Qaeda terrorists who have saturated the ranks of Syrian rebels in the fight against Assad. He charged that “the U.S. plays both sides, too,” and that the Al Qaeda splinter group welcomed him with open arms.

“Getting into al-Nusra is not rocket science,” he said. “It just takes balls and brains.”
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2 thoughts on “Army veteran charged with joining terrorists in Syria pleads guilty to lesser charge

  1. No Tammyc ,probably not.You see here in ameriKa the government can train ,arm ,and support the Alcaeda terrorist and that’s just fine.Just like Eric Holder arming the drug cartels and wanting to blame it on gun shops. If an ameriKan goes and fights for the same side the criminals in DC are training and funding and arming that makes that person a criminal to them.Kinda hard to follow isn’t it? The real terrorist walk the halls of the white house,the pentagon ,the cia,fbi,dhs,etc. All this happens as this country burns and they tell us that is not fire at all but what thing improving looks like.That to is a bit hard to follow. The government has Zero credibility now and the entire world knows it and they pretend that all is well and getting better.Stop the 85 billion a month that is putting us all farther in debt and see what happens!

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