An Army veteran accused of fighting alongside an al-Qaida-affiliated group of Syrian rebels is out of jail following a secret plea deal.
Thirty-one-year-old Eric Harroun of Phoenix had been charged with providing material to support a terrorist group and faced life in prison.
“I feel betrayed by my government, by my country. I didn’t do anything and that's why I’m out right now,” said Harroun.
But under a deal entered in federal court in Alexandria, Harroun pleaded guilty to an obscure law regulating munition exports. He was sentenced to time served. He was released on September 19th.
Harroun is on probation for three years. He states that although he has a federal conviction, his voting rights and right to bear arms were not revoked as part of the plea deal.
The FBI took interest in Harroun when he started fighting with Syrian rebels and posted his victories on his Facebook and YouTube pages.
The FBI claimed Harroun was fighting alongside the Jabhat al-Nusrah group which is linked to al Qaida in Iraq.
“I fought with many different battalions, but I was with the Free Syrian Army," he said.
Harroun had been jailed since March.
“I never thought I would be set free. Every time my cell door would pop I thought this could be the day I walk. I’m just thankful to be out,” said Harroun.
Harroun says he is not a threat to the U.S and loves his country. “I would die for my country in a New York Minute,” he said.
While Harroun is on probation, he plans to enroll in school. He also plans on requesting a Presidential Pardon.
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