WEST JORDAN, Utah – A Marine who was declared a deserter days before military court proceedings stemming from an earlier disappearance from Iraq has been placed on a list of "most wanted" fugitives.
A mug shot of Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun (search) appeared this week on a Navy criminal justice Web site, which claims the missing corporal now uses the alias "Jafar." His placement on the Navy list puts him among a select group of fugitives, some of whom are being hunted on allegations of terrorism, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, indecent assault and rape.
Military officials say they have no information about the 24-year-old man's whereabouts, and have been unable to confirm news reports that Hassoun was in Canada or Lebanon. Officials at his base at Camp Lejeune (search), N.C., did not immediately return a message left after hours seeking comment.
Military officials say that Hassoun has no passport. And Mohamad Hassoun, a brother, confirmed reports from Lebanese government officials that the Marine is not allowed back in that country.
Hassoun's family has said they last heard from him Dec. 29.
When he failed to arrive at his base in Camp Lejeune, N.C., by Jan. 5, Hassoun was declared a deserter for a second time.
Hassoun was an Arabic translator for the military when he first disappeared from his post in Iraq last summer. He later surfacing in Lebanon where he claimed he had been kidnapped. Al-Jazeera Television showed video of Hassoun blindfolded.
A five-month investigation by the Navy found that Hassoun had stolen a Humvee and fled his camp near Fallujah (search). On Thursday, a pre-trial hearing on charges of desertion and theft was postponed because Hassoun remains missing.
Hassoun is a Muslim with citizenship in both the United States and Lebanon.
Family members in both Utah and Lebanon have called on the corporal to surrender.