War on Terrorism

Friday, April 20, 2012

Gotcha!: American Behind Bars on Terrorism-Related Charges

Mollie Halpern: A Massachusetts man is sentenced to 17-and-a-half years in prison on terrorism-related charges and lying to the government.

I’m Mollie Halpern, and this is Gotcha.

Twenty-nine-year-old Tarek Mehanna was involved in an extreme form of Islam and tried to join the jihad movement. Special Agent Heidi Williams of the FBI’s Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force says Mehanna traveled to Yemen…

Heidi Williams: …to attend a terrorist training camp to obtain military-style training with the ultimate goal of going on to Iraq to fight U.S. soldiers.

Halpern: When Mehanna failed, he returned to the U.S., where he translated for al Qaeda in Iraq.

Williams: He completed works such as the 39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad, which is one of the most influential terrorist publications out there.

Halpern: Investigators searched Mehanna’s home, where they found evidence on Mehanna’s hard drive of his efforts to radicalize others. In total, Mehanna was convicted of seven charges, including providing material support to al Qaeda in the form of translation.

Williams: This is the first time material support charges have been brought in the District of Massachusetts of any kind.

Halpern: This has been the Bureau’s closed case of the week.

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