Latest update: March 19th, 2013
Eric Harroun, a 30-year old American army veteran, has appeared in several videos online, bragging about his role in fighting with Syrian rebels against the Syrian regime. Harroun claims to be a Sunni Muslim. He allegedly wrote on his Facebook page, “the only good Zionist is a dead Zionist.”
Harroun is a Phoenix, Arizona native who enlisted in the US army and was discharged after three years of service in 2003, never having seen battle. He was discharged with full disability pay following a car accident, according to Greg Tepper and Ilan Ben Zion for Fox News.
Known as “the American” by rebel and Syrian forces, Harroun calls himself a “freedom fighter.”
Several days ago a video was posted online that appeared to show that Harroun had been killed by the Syrian army, but in emails allegedly sent by Harroun since then, he claims to be “alive and well and chillin’ in Turkey.”
According to reports, Harroun has left Syria and is now fighting with an Al Qaeda affiliated group in Turkey, Jabhat al-Nusra.
After leaving the US army and before running off to fight in Syria, Harroun was a mortgage loan officer for Artisan Mortgage Company in Phoenix, Arizona. That job apparently did not fulfill Harroun’s need for excitement. “Finalize applications for home loans or second mortgages,and alot of other boring paperwork,” is how Harroun described his loan officer position.
Harroun converted to Islam after becoming friends with some Iraqis in the US, Al Arabiya reported. One of the places he mentions on his Facebook page is the Masjid Annur Islam Center in Sacramento, California. He allegedly took part in the 2011 protests in Tahrir Square in Egypt, and has been in Syria and Turkey most recently. According to at least one news source, Harroun has pledged to fight with Arab Palestinian forces against the Jewish State.
The people he finds most inspirational include Che Guevara, Yassir Arafat and George Galloway.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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