Arizona Man Joins Al Qaeda Group and Tours the Middle East Fighting

A former U.S. soldier raised in Phoenix is hopping around the Middle East lending his services to various warring countries and jihadist groups, according to Fox News - there's a seemingly authentic Youtube video to back it up (see below).

The article says that Eric Harroun, 30, was most recently in Syria fighting alongside Jabhat al-Nusra, classified by the U.S. State Department as a group with links to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

"I was separated in a battle and most of my group was K.I.A. and Al-Nusra picked me up," Harroun tells

New Times reached out to Harroun and members of his family, but no one responded.

Harroun grew up in Phoenix before joining the Army in 2000. He spent three years deployed where he saw little or no action. But since then, he's skipped around to various warring countries. He protested Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and later fought in Syria, trying to bring down Bashar al-Assad.

Harroun is known as "The American" to Syrian rebels, according to the article, and is currently in Turkey.

His father, Darryl Harroun, who lists Arizona as home on his Facebook page, told Fox that his son was discharged from the Army when a pickup truck he rode in struck a tree and he was seriously injured. He received full disability pay and has a steel plate in his head.

"Now he has mood swings and what-not," Darryl tells Fox. "He was already suffering from depression before that, and the accident just kind of multiplied it."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Weston Phippen
Contact: Weston Phippen