Eric Harroun, Phoenix Vet Who Fought Syrian Regime, Suddenly Gets a Sweet Plea Deal
|Eric Harroun (right).|
Amid doubt about those allegations, Harroun suddenly agreed to a plea deal yesterday, and his sentence is quite a bit shorter than life in prison -- he'll be released from jail, be placed on probation for three years, and has to pay a $100 fine.
-Eric Harroun Remains Jailed
Nearly all of the relevant documents in the case surrounding the new plea agreement are sealed. The original charges Harroun was arrested on, supporting a terrorist organization and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, have been dropped. Harroun pleaded guilty to "conspiracy to violate the laws of the United States related to transfer and control of defense articles and services."
See, months before politicians like President Obama and Senator John McCain started calling for military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Harroun, an Army veteran, was arrested for fighting that same regime.
In 2003, Harroun had been honorably discharged from the Army after sustaining some sort of brain injury in a car accident. It's unclear the extent of his injury, although his attorney has said he suffers from headaches and memory loss.
At some point after that, Harroun developed an interest in the Middle East, and the FBI was aware that Harroun started traveling around the region. Court filings from federal prosecutors suggest Harroun may have participated in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, a citizen uprising involving many types of people, representing many causes.
The FBI apparently watched Harroun a lot more closely when he went to Syria in January of this year and started fighting against the Assad regime, alongside the Free Syrian Army.
Harroun didn't really make a secret of this, as he posted videos and updates on social-media websites. In one, Harroun says, "Bashar Al-Assad, your days are numbered . . . Where[ver] you go, we will find you and kill you." He did media interviews, too.
Amid all this, Harroun voluntarily submitted to interviews with the FBI four times.