Using the upcoming trial of jihadist Terak Mehana — who was arrested on federal terrorism charges — as a springboard, the “Occupy” movement has stretched beyond Wall Street and Washington to D.C. to the Rose Kennedy Greenway of Boston.
To add fuel to the fire, The Boston Herald reports that the protesters played host to Mehanna’s supporters, who are using the demonstration to draw attention to the accused terrorist’s trial.
Well, the group certainly seems to be accomplishing its mission. What the demonstration has also done, however, is draw correlation between the “Occupy” movements and those charged with conspiring to commit jihad — atrocious acts of murder — against fellow citizens on American soil and soldiers abroad.
The Tarek Mehanna Support Committee reportedly came to Occupy Boston’s tent city to spread the word that, according to them, the Muslim American pharmacist is merely a victim of an anti-Muslim crusade.
The U.S. government, however, says Mehanna provided “material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization,” and acted as a “media wing” for al-Qaeda.
According to a bio in Time Federal authorities arrested then 27-year-old Mehanna in 2009 on charges that he conspired to provide material support to terrorists and planned to carry out a “violent jihad” by killing U.S. politicians, attacking American soldiers in Iraq and targeting customers at U.S. shopping malls.
U.S. attorneys claim that Mehanna worked with two other men on various plans designed to “kill, kidnap, maim or injure” U.S. citizens and soldiers from 2001 to 2008. He will be held in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Oct. 30. If he is found guilty, Mehanna faces up to 15 years in prison.
Townhall provides even greater detail of Mehanna’s alleged activities:
“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,” he said. But Mr. Loucks said the men could not obtain the automatic weapons they wanted for the plot, which he said was inspired by the 2002 sniper attacks in the Washington area. The authorities did not name the two members of the executive branch whom they said Mr. Mehanna and his associates had chosen as targets. The two are not now in office, Mr. Loucks said, and they were not in danger from the plot.
But it gets worse:
At the time of his arrest on Wednesday, Mr. Mehanna was free on bail from an earlier arrest, in November 2008, at Logan International Airport in Boston, when he was charged with lying to federal investigators in a 2006 interview. Mr. Mehanna, prosecutors said, had sought to obtain automatic weapons from a friend, Daniel Maldonado, who was at the time a terrorism suspect. Mr. Maldonado is serving a 10-year prison sentence for training with Al Qaeda in Somalia. The complaint filed on Wednesday also states that Mr. Mehanna and his associates traveled to Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, seeking training from terrorist groups to fight against American soldiers. But the groups rejected them.
Meanwhile, the Occupy Boston movement, whose members have been living on the Greenway for 10 days, claim not to have an official position on the Mehanna case despite hosting his support rally.