ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge has ordered a U.S. Army veteran to remain in jail pending trial on allegations that he joined up with an al-Qaida affiliate to fight the Syrian government.
At a detention hearing Monday in federal court in Alexandria, defense attorneys for 30-year-old Eric Harroun of Phoenix asked the judge to consider the fact that Harroun was fighting with Syrian rebels who share the U.S. government's desire to oust the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
But prosecutors argued successfully that no chances should be taken when the rebel group in question is a branch of al-Qaida.
Harroun faces up to life in prison on charges of using a weapon of mass destruction outside the U.S. Prosecutors say he fired rocket propelled grenades against Syrian government forces.