A 24-year-old former Army veteran who served in Iraq was indicted on charges of attempting to help Al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization.
A federal grand jury indicted Craig Benedict Baxam, of Laurel, Md. Wednesday. Authorities claim he secretly converted to Islam before he left the Army in 2010 and then wanted to move to Somalia and live under Sharia law.
“The indictment alleges that Craig Baxam intended to travel to Somalia and join the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein in a statement. “Mr. Baxam was arrested in Kenya before he reached Somalia, and there is no allegation that anyone assisted him.”
According to authorities, Baxam joined the Army in 2007 and finished eight months of advance training in cryptoloy and intelligence. He was deployed to Baghdad and in August 2010 he deployed for a one year in Korea.
He left the army and returned to Maryland one month before he finished his deployment in Korea.
Authorities allege Baxam traveled to Somalia, via Kenya, with between $600 and $700, which he planned to give to Al-Shabaab.
On December 23, 2011, Kenyan police stopped a bus Baxam was riding in Kenya and arrested him for attempting to travel to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab.