Ex-soldier ordered held in terrorism-related case

January 11, 2012 - 5:55 PM

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A judge has ruled a former soldier accused of trying to provide support to a terrorist organization in Somalia after he left the military will remain locked up until his trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Connelly rejected defense arguments that Craig Baxam was naïve and exploring his religion when he left the United States for Somalia last month with the goal of joining al-Shabaab. The group is designated as a foreign terrorist organization. Baxam was picked up in neighboring Kenya before he could reach Somalia and was questioned by FBI agents.

Baxam is a 24-year-old Maryland man who joined the Army in 2007 and spent time in Iraq. Authorities say he converted to Islam last summer after reading an Islamic religious website and left the military about a week later.