Marine, declared a two-time deserter, turns himself in
Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, who has been declared a deserter on two separate occasions, has turned himself in to U.S. custody, a spokesman for the Marines has confirmed.
Hassoun, an Arabic interpreter from Utah, disappeared in June 2004 from a military camp near Fallujah, Iraq, and turned up the next month with relatives in Lebanon. A week after his disappearance, he appeared in a hostage video. A group identifying itself as Islamic Response claimed to be holding him and threatened to behead him unless detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq were released.
Upon returning to the United States that year, Hassoun said he had been kidnapped and held against his will by insurgents. But some suspected it had been a hoax. After a five-month investigation, he was charged with theft, loss of government property and wrongful appropriation of a government vehicle, and he was accused of leaving the Marine camp with his service pistol.
Hassoun then failed to return from leave in January 2005, days before military court proceedings were scheduled to take place.