Post-9/11, Mehanna is one of hundreds of Muslim Americans victimized, vilified, and persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, prominence, activism, and at times charity.
On October 21, 2009, an FBI press release said:
"A Sudbury, Mass. man was charged today in federal court with conspiracy to provide support to terrorists."
Maliciously and spuriously, Mehanna was accused of "conspir(ing) with Ahmad Abousamra and others to provide material support and resources for use in carrying out a conspiracy to kill, kidnap, main or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country and extraterritorial homicide of a US national."
Despite no evidence whatever proving it, "Mehanna and co-conspirators (were accused of having) discussed their desire to participate in violent jihad against American interests and that they would talk about fighting jihad and their desire to die on the battlefield."
"(They also) attempted to radicalize others and inspire each other by, among other things, watching and distributing jihadi videos."
"(In addition), Mehanna and two of his associates traveled to the Middle East in February 2004, seeking military-type training at a terrorist training camp (to) prepare them for armed jihad....including (against) US and allied forces in Iraq....(One) of Mehanna's coconspirators made two similar trips to Pakistan in 2002."
"....Mehanna and the co-conspirators had multiple conversations about obtaining automatic weapons (from a Mr. Maldonado, now serving a 10-year sentence for training with Al Queda in Somalia) and randomly shooting people in a shopping mall, and that the conversations went so far as to discuss the logistics of a mall attack, including coordination, weapons needed and the possibility of attacking emergency responders."
Yet no attack occurred. None, in fact, was planned or contemplated. According to FBI scoundrels, however, it was because no automatic weapons could be obtained even though legal semi-automatic ones are freely sold and illegal automatic ones easily gotten.
Eastcoastfirearms.com lists numerous ones for sale, including AK-47 (Kalashnikov) assault rifles, AR-15/M16 type rifles, Uzi assault weapons, LWRC M6A2s called the most modern carbine rifle in the world, and various others with considerable firepower.
Federal Judge Leo Sorokin ordered Mehanna held without bail pending his October 30 court appearance. In response, his attorney, JW Carney, Jr. said:
"This is the type of case that challenges our commitment and faith in the United States Constitution. Our country is respected around the world because we presume people are innocent, and we require the government to prove its allegations in open court at trial."
According to FBI authorities, Mehanna and "co-conspirators" used code words like "peanut and jelly" to mean Somalia fighting and "culinary school" for terrorist camps. In fact, whatever they likely said they meant precisely, and what proof suggests otherwise.
Prosecutors also claimed when they weren't able to join terror groups in Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan, the 2002 Washington-area sniper shootings inspired them to attack shopping malls, as well as two (unnamed) former executive branch members.
Again, no evidence proved it. Baseless charges alone were presented with plenty of theatrics to appear real.
Mehanna is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy where his father, Ahmed, is a professor. They reside in Sudbury, MA, an affluent Boston suburb.
Friends and allies rallied to his defense. Abdul Cader Asmal, the Islamic Center of Boston's former president, said he gave lectures and translated poetic Arabic scriptures to English. He's also dedicated to his faith and nonviolent.
Ahmad AlFarsi called him "one of the most gracious, kind, caring, thoughtful, and respectable people I have ever known....I have seen him go above above and beyond what most others would do to help others in need."
"Those who know him personally know exactly what I am talking about. I am sure any of his peers, Muslim or non-Muslim, would testify to his excellent character."
Nonetheless, bogus evidence was used to convict. Moreover, it was kept secret to prevent defense attorneys from discrediting it. It's a common prosecutorial trick when no indictable facts exist.
In other words, if truth can't convict, manipulated lies substitute to look real.
Jurors Pronounce Guilt by Accusation
Mehanna was found guilty of being Muslim in America at the wrong time. Detailed information about him can be found on FreeTareq.com.
On December 20, the Boston Globe reported the news. Headlined, "Tareq Mehanna guilty of terror charges," it said:
A "swift" "sweeping" Boston District Court verdict found him guilty "of providing material support to Al Qaeda (as well as seeking) paramilitary training in Yemen so he could carry out jihad, or holy war, against US soldiers in Iraq."
He was also convicted of using Arabic "to translate and distribute documents promoting Al Qaeda's ideology, to inspire others to violent jihad."
In all, he was convicted on seven counts of "conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to kill in a foreign country, and of lying to authorities in a terrorism investigation."
Sentencing is scheduled for April 12. Mehanna faces possible life in prison despite having committed no crime, planning one, or even contemplating the possibility.
In response, his attorney JW Carney promised to appeal, saying:
"The charges scare people. The charges scared us when we first saw them. But the more that we looked at the evidence, the more that we got to know our client Tarek, the more we believed in his innocence."
According to the Massachusetts ACLU:
"The ACLU of Massachusetts is gravely concerned that today's verdict against Tarek Mehanna undermines the First Amendment and threatens national security."
"Under the government's theory of the case, ordinary people - including writers and journalists, academic researchers, translators, and even ordinary web surfers - could be prosecuted for researching or translating controversial and unpopular ideas. If the verdict is not overturned on appeal, the First Amendment will be seriously compromised."
Overall, the ACLU condemned Mehanna's outrageous conviction based largely on "First Amendment-protected expression."
On July 29, 2011, the Massachusetts ACLU submitted an Amicus Curiae memorandum, supporting Mehanna. However, District Court Judge George O'Toole denied permission to file it.
A Final Comment
In today's America, prosecutors and hanging judges use any means to convict. Innocence and judicial fairness don't matter, just imprisoning another Muslim for political advantage with considerable major media help.
Victims are guilty by accusation. Convictions nearly always follow. Jurors are intimidated to go along. Media scoundrels hype fear instead of challenging baseless charges. As a result, anyone supporting right over wrong is at risk, especially Muslims at the wrong time in America.
Freedom Archives expressed shock about Mehanna's conviction, saying:
Throughout his trial, prosecutors "presented no evidence linking Tarek to an illegal action. Instead, it" presented its usual jumble of meaningless, irrelevant videos, emails, recorded conversations, translations, and paid informant testimonies to convince jurors of an innocent suspect's guilt.
Prosecutors also used "coercion, prejudice, and ignorance" for their case. In response, defense lawyer Carney presented facts responsibly and honorably. In the end, fear and injustice triumphed over truth and judicial fairness.
Everyone's now at risk, especially after political Washington (at Obama's insistence) legislated tyranny.
As a result, US citizens can be charged without evidence of being associated with terrorist groups and threatening national security.
US military forces can arrest and detain them indefinitely without trial at home or abroad. Constitutional freedoms don't apply, only guilt by accusation if charged.
Presidents have unchecked authority to be judge, jury and executioner. Tyranny replaced rule of law justice. Absolute power governs America.
No one anywhere any longer is safe. There's no place to hide.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.