- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2004

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (AP) — A National Guardsman accused of attempting to pass military intelligence to the al Qaeda terrorist network has been formally charged, an Army spokesman said yesterday.

Spc. Ryan G. Anderson offered to provide information about U.S. troop strength and tactics, as well as methods of killing Army personnel, to people he thought belonged to the terror network, the military says.

Spc. Anderson was charged Feb. 12 on three counts involving attempts to supply intelligence to the enemy, but the Army did not release that information immediately, Lt. Col. Stephen Barger said.

In each count, Spc. Anderson is accused of “attempting to provide intelligence to the enemy” by disclosing information or making contact with U.S. military personnel. The Uniform Military Code says attempts to aid the enemy can be punished by death.

The charges do not say that Spc. Anderson, a convert to Islam, ever passed information to al Qaeda members.

Spc. Anderson, 26, of Lynnwood, is a tank-crew member from the Fort Lewis-based 81st Armor Brigade. The 2002 Washington State University graduate converted to Islam in college. He joined the Guard on May 15, 2002, Col. Barger said.

Col. Barger refused to say whether the investigation was continuing or whether others might be involved. He also refused to discuss how Spc. Anderson’s activities came to the Army’s attention or how the Army set up the sting that led to his arrest.

Spc. Anderson is being held at Fort Lewis.

In the first count, Spc. Anderson, also known as “Amir Abdul Rashid,” is accused of attempting to provide information about Army troop strength, movements, equipment, tactics and weapons systems, as well as methods of killing Army personnel and vulnerabilities of Army weapons systems and equipment.

Spc. Anderson also is accused of communicating by “oral, written and electronic communication” to terrorists that “I wish to meet with you, I share your cause, I wish to continue contact through conversations and personal meetings.”

The second charge says Spc. Anderson passed sketches of the M1-A1 and M1-A2 tanks, as well as a computer disc with such identification as his passport photo, weapons card and military ID card.

The last charge accuses him of “wrongfully and dishonorably” providing information on Army troop strength, movements and equipment.

A military defense attorney has been appointed for Spc. Anderson, but Col. Barger refused to identify the attorney.

Any questions for the attorney have to be passed along through Army spokesmen, Col. Barger said, adding that neither Spc. Anderson nor his attorney had any statement to make yesterday.

The accused conduct occurred between Jan. 17 and Feb. 10, the documents indicated.

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