The Islamic groups, Amr ibn al-’Aas Brigade and the Jabhat al-Nusra, have enjoyed the services of one Eric Harroun, known as The American. The former Army PFC fought in Syria and is now believed to be in Turkey. Get a load of what his family thinks of his jihadi activities:
“Now he has mood swings and what-not,” said Darryl Harroun, who lives in Arizona and talks to his son by phone frequently. “He was already suffering from depression before that, and the accident just kind of multiplied it.”
Darryl Harroun said his son is seen as an adventurer by friends and relatives, who call him “Arizona Jones.”
“He just loves that part of the world,” said Darryl Harroun, who said his family has been in the U.S. for several generations and is not Muslim. “We scratch our heads and wonder what the hell he’s doing. I told him, ‘You’re never going to change those people’s minds over there.’ But he says they treat him like a hero.
“I know one day I’m going to get a message from over there, telling me my son is dead,” he said.
Darryl Harroun said he doesn’t believe the U.S. — much less his own son — has any business in Middle Eastern affairs. But at least one family member seems to believe Harroun is fighting a noble battle.
“Keep fighting Eric!” Harroun’s sister, Sarah Harroun, posted on Facebook this week. “The people of Syria and you are in my prayers.”
Harroun’s descent into Islamic fanaticism seems to have begun sometime after his discharge from the military. With seemingly no way to pursue his lifelong dream of being a soldier, he fell in with two Iraqi brothers, Maadh and Hayder Ibrahim, who he met while attending Pima Community College in Tucson, and began to identify himself as a Muslim, according to people who know him.
Army spokesman Ray Gall confirmed that Harroun served in the Army’s 568th Engineer Company and was based at Fort Riley, Kansas, from October 2000 to May 2003, attaining the rank of Private First Class before his discharge. Gall declined to provide any details regarding Harroun’s discharge.
What a maroon, I mean a Harroun.