Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, the young Marine who made headlines in June with TV images of him allegedly being held hostage by militants in Iraq, and again when he mysteriously turned up in his native Lebanon, has been found fit to return to full duty as a mechanic at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The repatriation team, which includes medical and psychological officials, declared Hassoun, 24, fit for full duty late Monday, said Maj. Matt Morgan, spokesman for the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

Hassoun is a mechanic with the 4th MEB at Lejeune.

Hassoun disappeared June 20 from a camp near Fallujah, Iraq, where he worked as a truck driver and translator for the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. For the conflict, he was assigned from the 4th MEB to the 2-2 as an individual augmentee because he speaks Arabic, Morgan said.

Hassoun was seen on Arab television June 27, blindfolded with someone holding a sword above his head, prompting conflicting reports that he had been beheaded. But he reappeared July 8 in Lebanon, where some of his family lives. Initially, the Corps had listed Hassoun as a deserter, but changed his status to “captured,” after the videotape was aired.

Officially, Hassoun is considered to be a POW. However, there are parts of the mysterious story that can’t be publicly released while the NCIS continues its investigation, Morgan said of the Naval Criminal Investigation Service.

In fact, NCIS investigators spoke with Hassoun for the first time Tuesday, he said.

“The repatriation team decided it was best that he complete his repatriation before talking to him. … Medical [personnel] wanted to ensure there was no question regarding his fitness. The repatriation process is very far-reaching, and part of that is psychological. It was determined that someone who had been held prisoner against their will, and the idea of placing him in front of NCIS investigators, was something they had to weigh carefully and the repatriation team decided it should happen after he was returned to full duty.”

There are no plans to return Hassoun to Iraq, Morgan said.

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