National Guardsman Anderson pleaded not guilty

A National Guardsman accused of trying to pass information about American tanks to al Qaeda told federal agents posing as terrorist operatives that he wasn't giving them anything they couldn't find publicly.

The comments were recorded on a videotape played Tuesday in the court-martial of Spc. Ryan G. Anderson, a 26-year-old tank crew member from the National Guard's 81st Armored Regiment.

"I hate to tell you, brother, but I have not told you anything that has not been on the news numerous times," he told the agents.

Anderson has pleaded not guilty to charges that he tried to give intelligence to the enemy by passing information to federal agents posing as al Qaeda members, says CNN.

"He has been an outsider, a social misfit, most of his life," psychologist Jack Norris said of defendant Spc. Ryan G. Anderson.

Norris said he began evaluating Anderson in mid-July, eventually diagnosing him with bipolar disorder, the condition formerly called manic depression.

Anderson, a Muslim convert, is charged with five counts of trying to provide al-Qaida with information about U.S. troop strength and tactics, as well as methods for killing American soldiers. A military spokesman has said the charges amount to attempted treason. The trial, which started Monday, is to conclude Friday.

Conviction requires agreement by two-thirds of the jury of nine commissioned officers. Anderson could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Anderson, a Washington State University graduate, was raised Lutheran but began studying Islam while attending college. He's been described by high school classmates in Everett as a paramilitary enthusiast who was passionate about guns, according to the Seattle Times.

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