Craig Benedict Baxam, Former Soldier From Laurel, MD, Accused Of Trying To Join Somali Terrorist Group

10:30 PM, Mar 7, 2012   |    comments
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GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A former Army soldier has been indicted in Maryland on charges that he tried to join a terrorist organization in Somalia.

A federal grand jury indictment returned Wednesday charges Craig Benedict Baxam with attempting to provide material support to al-Shabab. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years if convicted.

The 24-year-old Baxam, who is from Laurel, served in the Army from 2007 to 2011. He was arrested on a criminal complaint in January upon returning to Maryland from Africa.

Prosecutors say Baxam cashed out his retirement savings and bought a plane ticket to Kenya with plans of traveling to Somalia and joining al-Shabab. He was arrested in Kenya before reaching Somalia.

Baxam's public defender has said Baxam was naive, impulsive and simply exploring his religion.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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