June 30, 2014 at 11:49 am

Marine accused of desertion returned to US unit

USMC Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun prepares himself as he waits to make a statement to a large crowd of media outside the gates to USMC Base Quantico, Va., July 19, 2004. Nearly 10 years ago, Hassoun was declared a deserter after allegedly faking his own kidnapping in Iraq, then reappeared and was to face charges. But he disappeared again in 2005 and has now turned himself in to U.S. authorities, and was being flown to the U.S., June 29, 2014, from an undisclosed Mideast location. (Dylan Moore / AP)

Raleigh, N.C. — A Marine Corps spokesman says a corporal who disappeared in Iraq a decade ago and was later declared a deserter is in custody at a North Carolina brig.

Lt. Col. Cliff W. Gilmore of the II Marine Expeditionary Force said Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun returned to Camp Lejeune on Monday.

Gilmore said Hassoun was in the Middle East when he contacted U.S. authorities to give himself up. Gilmore wouldn’t say what country.

Hassoun was born in Lebanon and is a naturalized American citizen.

Hassoun disappeared from his unit in Iraq in 2004. He soon turned up unharmed in Lebanon and said he’d been kidnapped by Islamic extremists. He disappeared again before facing the military equivalent of a grand jury.

He was declared a deserter in January 2005.