Tarek Mehanna, a Sudbury, Massachusetts man, was charged with conspiring with others in a terror plot to attack U.S. shopping malls in furtherance of violent jihad.
The charges allege that in 2003 Mehanna (inset) sought with others "to obtain automatic weapons, go to a shopping mall, and randomly shoot people," having allegedly been inspired by the Washington, D.C. area sniper attacks in the fall of 2002.
Federal authorities maintain that Mehanna conspired with two others, including a confidential witness and a man named Ahmed Abousamra, to plan and discuss carrying out an attack on a U.S. shopping mall, including the types of weapons needed.
According to an FBI affidavit, the 27-year-old Mehanna allegedly flew with Abousamra and the confidential witness to the United Arab Emirates, and then went on to Yemen with the intent of receiving military and terrorist training in furtherance of jihad, a holy war.
Abousamra, one of Mehanna's alleged co-conspirators, was alleged in an FBI affidavit to have traveled after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to Pakistan, Iraq, and Yemen in an effort to get terrorist training, Abousamra is believed to be in Syria, after leaving the U.S. on December 26, 2006.
Read Tarek Mehanna's new terrorism conspiracy charges here:
You can read another FBI affidavit filed in connection with a search warrant of Mehanna's residence here:
That affidavit alleges how a search of Mehanna's hard drive was performed by the FBI as early as August 10-11, 2006, "and made a mirrored copy of the hard drive" on Mehanna's computer. According to the FBI, the hard drive allegedly revealed how Mehanna communicated in February 2006 his desire to work for the media wing of al Qaeda in Iraq. Other material allegedly found on his hard drive included an Arabic to English translation of a document entitled "39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad."
Mehanna has another pending terror-related case in federal court. That case stems from his being charged with lying to federal agents about the whereabouts of Daniel Maldonado, a/k/a Daniel Aljughaifi, an American convicted of receiving terrorist training from the al Qaeda terrorist group.
In a 2008 criminal complaint, the FBI alleged that Mehanna "knew that Maldonado was receiving terrorist training and was involved in fighting" in Somalia "because on December 12, 2006 he had received three successive phone telephone calls from Maldonado in Somalia," where the two allegedly spoke in code, and Maldonado implored Mehanna "to join him in training for jihad."
You can read that criminal complaint here:
Mehanna was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly lying to the FBI at least three times about Maldonado's whereabouts when he knew that the American was actually in Somalia, receiving military training, and fighting in support of jihad.
You can read Mehanna's earlier indictment here:
Note: Partial redactions were made in various parts of documents made by FindLaw.
- Man Charged in Plot to Attack U.S. Shopping Mall, Reuters (Oct. 21, 2009)
- Sudbury Man Charged With Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorists, U.S. Attorney, Mass. (Oct. 21, 2009)
- U.S. v. Daniel Maldonado a/k/a Daniel Aljughaifi, Related Terror Case (Feb. 13, 2007)
- Terrorism Cases, Findlaw