Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Former 18th Airborne soldier charged with terrorism

Written By: Bob - Jan• 09•12

Uncle Sam provided him with the training. Allah provided him with the goal of becoming a murderer.

 A former U.S. Army soldier has been charged with attempting to provide material support to terror group al Shabaab, the Department of Justice announced Monday.

Craig Benedict Baxam was arrested Friday upon return to his home state of Maryland after he was captured in Africa during an alleged attempt to reach Somalia, where the terror group is based.

Baxam, 24, joined the Army in 2007 and served in Baghdad and Korea. During his enlistment, he completed eight months of advanced intelligence and cryptology training, the Justice Department said in a press release.

According to court papers, Baxam secretly converted to Islam days before leaving the Army, one month ahead of completing his deployment in Korea. He returned to Maryland in July 2011 and reportedly sought to move to Somalia to join al Shabaab.

I would like for a lawyer to explain to me why someone attempting to join a terrorist group that targets Americans doesn’t immediately garner a capital charge of some something very much akin to treason. I’d think such a charge would apply not just to Islamists, but to domestic terrorists and eco-terrorists as well.

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  1. A note on Army unit terminology: if you’re going to say “[number] Airborne,” it generally refers to a division, i.e., the 82nd Airborne. (The 101st, though often referred to as ‘Airborne’ is in fact now Air Assault. During WWII, the Army also had the 11th and 17th Airborne divisions, but they’re both long gone.)

    The only Airborne unit with the number ’18’ is the XVIII Airborne Corps (Corps use Roman numerals, the remaining ones being I, III, V, and XVIII). Corps always use the unit echelon/type (Corps) when being referred to.

    I’m going to assume the soldier in question (if he enlisted in 2007, but has been released from active duty, he’s still on Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), and thus still technically a soldier) was at one point assigned to HQ, XVIII Corps at Ft Bragg, NC, although if his last assignment prior to leaving active duty was in Korea, it might be more correct to refer to him as a 2nd ID, 8th Army, or USFK soldier.

  2. Jim says:

    As long as the group that they are trying to join has already commited an act of violence against Americans, then I agree. I would hate to have the gov’t defining who is, and is not, a terrorist based on supposition.