A U.S. soldier accused of trying to help Al Qaeda (search) has been ordered to stand trial at a court-martial (search) but will not face the death penalty, Army officials said Wednesday.

The trial for Spc. Ryan G. Anderson (search) was ordered June 9 by Lt. Gen. Edward Soriano, commander at Fort Lewis, south of Seattle, but was not made public until Wednesday.

Anderson, 26, who was raised as a Lutheran but converted to Islam, was arrested in February and charged with five counts of trying to provide the terrorist network with information about U.S. troop strength and tactics as well as methods of killing American soldiers.

At a hearing in May, prosecutors presented a secretly recorded video showing Anderson meeting with two undercover military officials who were posing as members of Al Qaeda.

In the meeting, Anderson offered information about weaknesses in the M1A1 Abrams, the military's primary battle tank, according to the video.

He could face life in prison if convicted. Fort Lewis spokesman Joe Hitt said Soriano would not give any public explanation for why he decided not to pursue the death penalty.

An arraignment is set for Friday.

Anderson is a member of the Washington National Guard's 81st Armor Brigade, which is now in Iraq.

Anderson's attorney, Maj. Joseph Morse, and the prosecutor, Maj. Chris Jenks, declined to comment on the case, Hitt said Wednesday.

Anderson grew up in Everett, where former classmates at Cascade High School have described him as a paramilitary enthusiast who was passionate about guns. He began studying Islam while attending Washington State University.