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Marine who disappeared from Iraq base on way home

Hassoun to continue repatriation process at Quantico

From Mike Mount
CNN Washington Bureau

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Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun was apparently shown blindfolded in a video broadcast last month by Al-Jazeera.
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A Marine tells debriefers he was abducted in Iraq.

The Marine is quizzed over his disappearance.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, who said he was abducted from his base in Iraq in June and who resurfaced in Lebanon last week, is expected to arrive in the United States on Wednesday, Pentagon officials said.

The officials told CNN that Hassoun will be taken to the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia, where he will continue to undergo a repatriation process.

Hassoun, a 24-year-old translator of Lebanese descent, was reported missing June 20 when he did not report for duty. Before showing up in Lebanon, he was last seen at the base June 19.

After he was picked up by U.S. Embassy officials in Beirut last Wednesday, Hassoun was taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where he underwent medical examinations.

Those examinations and a debriefing were part of routine repatriation procedures, officials said.

Military officials said Friday that Hassoun is in good physical condition and in "good spirits."

Military officials are questioning the 24-year-old Marine translator about where he was and who he was with during his disappearance from the Marine camp outside Fallujah. The officials haven't released any details from the debriefings.

The Marine Corps had listed Hassoun as a deserter after he disappeared based on information from interviews and other intelligence gathered at the base.

A video -- apparently showing Hassoun blindfolded with with a sword being held above his head -- was broadcast June 27 on the Arabic-language TV news network Al-Jazeera. A narrator on the tape said he would be killed if the United States did not free jailed Iraqis.

Hassoun's status was soon changed to "captured."

Mohamad Hassoun, Wassef's brother in West Jordan, Utah, told CNN last week that his brother was expected to return to his base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, at some point, where the two would reunite.


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