Jury finds Massachusetts man guilty of aiding terrorism

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 20, 2011 11:38 AM
Jury finds Massachusetts man guilty of aiding terrorism

BOSTON (Reuters) - A jury on Tuesday found a Massachusetts man guilty of supporting al Qaeda by translating Arabic messages and supporting militants through traveling to Yemen for terrorism training.

Tarek Mehanna, 29, was found guilty on all seven counts against him.

Mehanna was arrested in 2009 and charged with "providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists" and other crimes including conspiracy to kill in a foreign country and lying to law enforcement officers.

During the jury trial, prosecutors said the defendant answered a call to action from Osama bin Laden to fight and kill U.S. soldiers.

They said he translated videos and texts from Arabic to English to further al Qaeda's cause.

Defense attorneys said Mehanna, a U.S. citizen, was merely trying to learn more about his Muslim heritage by studying Islamic law and translating classical texts. He traveled to Yemen to visit schools where he hoped to study, they said.

Mehanna was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in Sudbury, a suburb west of Boston, and holds a doctorate degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper, editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Peter Bohan)