The Curious Life & Death Of An ‘American Jihadist’

This story does NOT reflect well on the FBI, the State Department, the media or the Federal prosecutor’s office of Virginia and the judge that initiated and perpetuated this travesty of justice. None of whom ever offered a word of apology. Shame on them all.

VICE: This past January, I asked Eric if he wanted to tell his story. It had been a year since he fired the RPG and about four months since he’d been released from jail, where he’d been in solitary confinement for six months. He’d signed a sealed plea bargain that gave him his freedom … sort of. He was now a felon, living with his parents in Phoenix, unable to do what he wanted to do most — return to Syria and continue fighting. He had been labeled the “American Jihadist” in the media, portrayed as a Muslim fundamentalist who hated America. He didn’t hate America, but the past year had made him feel used and betrayed by the US government, which he had served officially as a soldier and unofficially as — so he thought — an informant to the FBI and CIA. Eric had been found in Doc’s bedroom at about 3 PM. The paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. “They wouldn’t let me in the room,” he told me. “When they brought him out on the gurney, I said, ‘Let me see my boy’s face.’ They said they couldn’t. That it was against the law.” The initial report was that it was an overdose; needles were reportedly found near Eric. But according to Doc, there was blood everywhere — under his desk, under his bed, seeping out some sliding glass doors. “How can there be that much blood if its drugs?” he wondered. An autopsy will determine the cause of death. MORE