A U.S. citizen and former Army soldier was charged in court Thursday with fighting with an al Qaeda group in Syria and could face life in prison.
Eric Harroun, 30, of Arizona, was arrested Wednesday at an airport, while returning to the United States, NBC reports. He’s accused of firing rocket-propelled grenade in Syria, while fighting with the al Qaeda-linked group, al-Nusrah Front, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia alleged in court on Thursday.
“Harroun, a U.S. citizen who served with the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2003, was charged by criminal complaint with conspiring to use a destructive device outside of the United States, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, if convicted,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, in a statement reported by NBC.
He faces life in prison for “conspiring to use a destructive device outside of the United States,” NBC reports.
Mr. Harroun was discharged from the military due to medical complications from a car wreck, NBC reported.
Photo: A native of Phoenix, thirty-year-old Eric Harroun joined the U.S. Army in 2000, and served until 2003, when he was medically discharged after a car accident. He reportedly has a steel plate in his head as a result. A self-defined freedom fighter, Harroun claims to have participated in several Arab Spring uprisings.