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US soldier on terror charges.

Byline: By Bill Peters

An American National Guardsman is facing charges of attempting to give information to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

US defence officials said Specialist Ryan Anderson, 26, signed on to extremist Internet chatrooms and tried to get in touch with al Qaeda operatives, offering the organisation information on US military capabilities and weaponry.

It is unclear how the government learned of his alleged offer, but authorities began monitoring his communications, the officials said. It does not appear he actually transmitted any information to al Qaeda.

Anderson became a Muslim during the last five years, officials said.

Lt Col Lt Col or LtCol
lieutenant colonel
 Stephen Barger, of the US Army, said Anderson was being held at Fort Lewis pending criminal charges of aiding the enemy by wrongfully attempting to communicate and give intelligence to the al Qaeda terrorist network.

Lt Col Barger said Anderson was taken into custody in a joint investigation by the Army, Justice Department and FBI. He was being held at the Fort Lewis Regional Corrections Facility near Tacoma, Washington.

Anderson is a tank crew member from the National Guard's 81st Armour Brigade, a 4,200-member unit set to depart for Iraq. It is the biggest deployment for the Washington Army National Guard since the 1939-45 war.

Washington State University spokeswoman Charleen Taylor said Anderson was a 2002 graduate with a degree in history. He studied military history with an emphasis on the Middle East.

The brigade has been training at Fort Lewis since November. Eighty per cent of the soldiers, 3,200, are from Washington state, and 1,000 are from guard units in California and Minnesota.

It includes two tank battalions, a mechanised Adj. 1. mechanised - using vehicles; "motorized warfare"
mechanized, motorized

mobile - moving or capable of moving readily (especially from place to place); "a mobile missile system"; "the tongue is...the most mobile articulator"

 infantry battalion, engineers, support troops, artillery and an intelligence company.

Anderson is the second Muslim soldier with Fort Lewis connections to be accused of actions related to the war on terror This article is about U.S. actions, and those of other states, after September 11, 2001. For other conflicts, see Terrorism.

The War on Terror (also known as the War on Terrorism

Capt James Yee James J. Yee (Chinese: 余百康 or 余优素福, also known by the Arabic name Yusuf Yee) (born c. 1968) is an American, former United States Army chaplain with the rank of captain. , 35, a former Fort Lewis chaplain, is accused of mishandling classified information from the US prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay Noun 1. Guantanamo Bay - an inlet of the Caribbean Sea; a United States naval station was established on the bay in 1903
bay, embayment - an indentation of a shoreline larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf
 in Cuba. Yee ministered to Muslim prisoners there.

There were initial reports that Yee was being investigated as part of an espionage probe, but he was never charged with spying.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 13, 2004
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