Incidents » Terrorism

Washington state soldier goes to trial

Spc. Ryan Anderson is facing the possibility of life in prison for trying to pass military information.
Army Specialist Anderson’s court-martial convened yesterday and he stands accused of trying to pass sensitive information to the al-Qaida with criminal intent. The military specifications against Anderson are a 5 count indictment of trying to supply the al-Qaida terrorist network with information about U.S. troop strength and tactics, and methods for killing American soldiers. 

Anderson, a 27 year old soldier from Washington states, converted to Moslem faith and joined the army.  Pfc. Scott Specht, who attended basic combat training with Anderson in 2003, testified that Anderson told him that he [Anderson] wanted to join the Army and get to the mother land [Iraq] so he could “help liberate Muslim brothers.".   

Anderson was caught in an elaborate sting operation by FBI agents, posing as al-Qaida operatives, met with Anderson and he provided them with information about the M-1 Abrams battle tank. Anderson was arrested three days later. 

If convicted, Anderson is looking at a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Capt. Jay Stephenson, a spokesman for the military prosecutors, said the charges against Anderson amount to attempted treason.  The penalty for Treason is the death sentence.

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