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ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A U.S. army veteran accused of joining up with an al-Qaeda affiliate to fight the Syrian government has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Virginia.

Thirty-year-old Eric Harroun of Phoenix was indicted Thursday on charges of conspiracy to use a destructive device overseas and conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

One charge carries a 15-year punishment, the other a maximum life sentence.

He was first charged in April with using a rocket propelled grenade as a soldier in the Nusra Front. The State Department says that's an alias for al-Qaida in Iraq.

Harroun's lawyer said in court Wednesday that his client was confused and mistaken when he told authorities that he fought with the group. He says his client spoke only a little Arabic.

Associated Press,

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