Defense loses bid to stop showing of 9/11 video

AP News
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Posted: Nov 07, 2011 4:33 PM
Defense loses bid to stop showing of 9/11 video

Lawyers for a Massachusetts man charged with conspiring to help al-Qaida have lost a bid to bar federal prosecutors from showing jurors gruesome videos of the World Trade Center burning after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the beheadings of Americans.

Tarek Mehanna's (THE'-rek meh-HAH'-nahz) lawyers argued that showing the videos would shock jurors and be unfair to Mehanna. The Boston Globe reports (http://bo.st/sWWQkt) Judge George O'Toole Jr. denied the motion Monday and twice denied a defense request for a mistrial.

Prosecutors say that after Mehanna made an unsuccessful trip to Yemen to try to get training at a terrorist camp, he returned home to Sudbury and began helping al-Qaida by translating and distributing online texts and videos promoting violent jihad.

Mehanna's lawyers say he went to Yemen for religious study and his online activities are protected free speech.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe