D.C.

Eric Harroun charged with conspiring with Al-Qaida group against Syria

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A U.S. Army veteran is charged with conspiring with an Al-Qaida group to wage war against the Syrian regime.

Eric Harroun of Phoenix was charged Thursday in federal court in northern Virginia with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the U.S. An affidavit states Harroun has been engaged in military action in Syria, siding with rebel forces against the Syrian government. It says he used rocket-propelled grenades in the fighting earlier this year.

On his Facebook page, he claimed credit for downing a Syrian helicopter.

Prosecutors say one of the groups with which Harroun served is the al-Nusrah Front, which is commonly known as al-Qaida in Iraq.

Harroun has made an initial court appearance. A public defender was appointed to represent him in a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

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