Merriam-Webster defines soldier of fortune as “one who follows a military career wherever there is promise of profit, adventure, or pleasure.”

The recent arrest of Eric Hourran at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., has brought with it many questions from media outlets and the American public. Who is Eric Hourran, and why would an American choose to fight with an al-Qaeda associated group such as al-Nusra?

Many of these questions are answered in the affidavit covering Hourran. With these facts, the certainty remains that Hourran has repeatedly lied about his stance concerning al-Qaeda and al-Nusra. At one moment he stated that he ‘hated al-Qaeda’ and the next moment:

“The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist”

Let’s be clear that Eric Hourran is not a soldier of fortune or a revolutionary. It is clear that Hourran had the knowledge that he had been fighting and associating himself with the al-Nusra Front. Apparently, his lack of knowledge of the American justice system is what failed him into thinking that he could easily reenter the U.S. without any repercussions.

Eric Hourran is being charged with conspiracy to use a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ during his time in Syria between January and March of 2013. Apparently the justice system has hardened their stance on rocket propelled grenades, and have labelled them WMDs.

Recent reports estimate that their are hundreds of rebel groups fighting throughout the country of Syria – many of which want a free and democratic Syria after the destruction of the al-Assad regime. al-Nusra is not one of these groups. Hourran chose and was not forced to fight alongside al-Nusra at any point.

There were many paths that he could have taken to help the people of Syria, ‘unfortunately’ he will be spending the foreseeable future within the walls of a  federal penitentiary.