The U.S. Has a Case Against an Army Vet Accused of Using a 'WMD' Against Assad

There aren't a lot of rebels fighting against the Assad regime in Syria who update Facebook regularly. There are fewer still who were born in Phoenix, Arizona, and are U.S. Army veterans. But that's not why Eric Harroun faces federal charges. The FBI arrested him because he allegedly fought alongside Al Qaeda, employing a "weapon of mass destruction."

Harroun — whose last three jobs have been serving in the Army state-side until his discharge following a car accident, working as a mortgage loan officer in Phoenix, and sneaking into Syria to push for the armed overthrow of its leader, in that order — was profiled by Foreign Policy earlier this month, despite the difficulty of having a conversation with him.

Pinning Harroun down is never easy. At times, he appears willing to provide very specific details about himself, while at others he becomes more reserved, preferring to not comment or flat-out denying his previous statements -- only to retract his retractions. He can become inexplicably hostile, hurling accusations of lying and anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist comments, or respond with flippant or jocular comments. He will also, in the middle of a line of questioning, simply write "bye" or "halas" (his rendering of the Arabic word for "enough"), and cease communication.

At the time, the magazine was exploring Harroun's involvement with Jabhat al-Nusra, a group the State Department has identified as being an arm of Al Qaeda. Harroun was reticent to discuss any involvement with the group — at one point, he responded to a question with a flat "5 Amendment" — but Foreign Policy noted his appearance in videos alongside known members of the group.

Read the rest of the story on The Atlantic Wire

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.