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Soldier Said Accused of Helping al-Qaida
Feb 12, 6:18 PM (ET)
SEATTLE (AP) - A National Guardsman stationed at Fort Lewis was arrested Thursday and charged by the Army with trying to provide information to the al-Qaida terrorist network, a federal law enforcement official said.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that Spc. Ryan G. Anderson was charged with "aiding the enemy by wrongfully attempting to communicate and give intelligence to the al-Qaida terrorist network."
It was not immediately known what information Anderson allegedly provided.
Anderson was being held at Fort Lewis, an Army base near Tacoma.
A message left with the Lt. Col. Stephen Barger at Fort Lewis was not immediately returned Thursday. Base spokesman Joe Hitt said he was not aware of the report, and messages left with Army officials at the Pentagon were not immediately returned.
Anderson, 26, is a tank crew member from the National Guard's 81st Armor Brigade, a 4,000-member unit set to depart for Iraq for a one-year deployment.
Washington State University spokeswoman Charleen Taylor said Anderson was a 2002 graduate with a degree in history.
The brigade has been training at Fort Lewis since November. Eighty percent 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 mechanized infantry battalion, engineers, support troops, artillery and an intelligence company.