Marine deserter Hassoun in U.S. custody

A U.S. Marine who was declared a deserter nearly 10 years ago after disappearing in Iraq and then returning to the United States claiming he had been kidnapped, only to disappear again, is back in U.S. custody, officials said Sunday.

Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, 34, turned himself in and was being flown Sunday from an undisclosed location in the Middle East to Norfolk. He is to be moved Monday to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, said a spokesman, Capt. Eric Flanagan.

Hassoun disappeared from his unit in June 2004. The following month, he turned up unharmed in Beirut. He was returned to Lejeune and was about to face the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing when he disappeared again.

It is unclear where Hassoun spent the past nine years. Nor is it known why he turned himself in now. He was born in Lebanon and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

— Associated Press

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