A federal grand jury indicted a Laurel man and former Maryland soldier Wednesday, for trying to help a terrorist organization.  The grand jury indicted Craig Benedict Baxam, age 24, of Laurel with attempting to provide support to Al-Shabaab, a foreign terrorist organization operating out of Somalia.  U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein made the announcement Wednesday.  “The indictment alleges that Craig Baxam intended to travel to Somalia and join the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein in a news release.  “Mr. Baxam was arrested in Kenya before he reached Somalia, and there is no allegation that anyone assisted him.”  The indictment says Baxam served in the U.S. Army from 2007 through July 2011.

According to court papers, sometime after July 2011, while living in Maryland, Baxam went to Somalia to fight with Al-Shabaab.  Al-Shabaab, according to the federal government is a group that has been working to overthrow the government in that country; they also say they pose a risk to the security of the United States.  Court papers also say Baxam cashed out his retirement savings, bought a plane ticket to Kenya traveling to its northern border with Somalia where he was arrested.

He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. 

Source: WBAL