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 ( 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.


Information from: The Boston Globe,