Former US soldier accused of trying to join Somali terror groupBy
Craig Benedict Baxam indicted on charges of attempting to provide material support to al-Shabaab
A former US soldier has been indicted on charges that he tried to join a terrorist organisation in Somalia.
A federal grand jury indicted Craig Benedict Baxam on Wednesday on charges of attempting to provide material support to the al-Shabaab group, which is affiliated with al-Qaida. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years if convicted.
The 24-year-old served in the army from 2007 to 2011. He was arrested on a criminal complaint in January upon returning to the US from Africa.
Prosecutors say Baxam cashed out his retirement savings and bought a plane ticket to Kenya with plans of travelling to Somalia and joining al-Shabaab. He was arrested in Kenya before reaching Somalia.
Baxam’s public defender has said Baxam was naive, impulsive and simply exploring his religion.
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