Local media coverage of Tarek Mehanna, the Sudbury, MA "wannabe" terrorist,was extensive yesterday, covered on radio, TV and news websites, but it was rather limited in scope. The media stories focused on how shocked, shocked people were that an educated, affluent young Muslim was accused of planning to commit terrorist activities. And especially Tarek Mehanna, that gentle soul, his neighors and classmates couldn't believe that he wanted to wage jihad and kill kufirs (non-believers). The other angle frequently reported was that Tarek was an incompetent wannabe terrorist: he couldn't get his hands on good weapons, he was turned away by terrorist groups, he was a "tinhorn terrorist." The unspoken conclusion for many folks was that Mehanna probably never would have committed such a terrorist act. People wouldn't be so smug though, if Tarek and co-conspirator Ahmed Abousamra had pulled off a Mumbai-type attack. From the DOJ press release:
"Acting U.S. Attorney Michael K. Loucks and Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI - Boston Field Division, announced today that Tarek Mehanna, 27, of 6 Fairhaven Circle, Sudbury, Mass., was charged in a complaint with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists."
".... It is alleged that, among other things, that would prepare them for armed jihad against U.S. interests, including U.S.Mehanna and two of his associates traveled to the Middle East in February 2004, seeking military-type training at a terrorist training camp that would prepare them for armed jihad against U.S. interests, including U.S. and and allied forces in Iraq. The complaint also alleges that one of Mehanna's coconspirators made two similar trips to Pakistan in 2002."
"According to the complaint affidavit, Mehanna and the coconspirators had multiple conversations about obtaining automatic weapons 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."
There is much more that the media could be looking at in this case. I'll start with reviewing FBI Special Agent Heidi L. Williams affadavit, and pulling out the elements that caught my eye:
- There's more info on this case than what the DOJ and FBI have revealed so far. The affidavit states that "it does not, however, include all the information known to me with respect to this investigation, but only that information which is necessary to establish the requisite probable cause." We'll have to wait for a trial to get more of the scoop.
- The affidavit supports the criminal complaint against Tarek Mehanna with conspiring with AHMED ABOUSAMRA ("ABOUSAMRA") and others to provide material support to terrorists. There's lots of background on Mehanna. I've not heard or read one single news story that tells us who Ahmed Abousamra is, not a one. Ahmed skipped the country in December 2006 after he was interviewed by the FBI, reportedly fleeing to Syria. Ahmed is the eldest son of Dr. Abdul Abousamra, an endocrinologist who was a Big Kahuna in the local Muslim community, now unfortunately so dominated by the Muslim American Society (MAS)/Muslim Brotherhood. Dr. Abousamra was the president of the Islamic Academy of New England and he hired Muhammed Masood at the IANE school (more on Masood here! ). The good doctor was also a MAS director , a "Free Imam" offerred to local Boston colleges, and on the Board of Directors of the Islamic Center of New England (ICNE) in Sharon, MA. We will come back to Abousamra in another blogpost, but isn't it worth looking at the background of the co-conspirator as well as Mehanna's background? Isn't it remarkable that the son of one of the leading Muslim "leaders" has been throroughly radicalized, and the father didn't notice? Like I said, more to come on Abousamra. The Dr. recently moved to Dearborn, MI, I'm told.
Well, it's getting late and I've only gotten as far as Page 19. I'll have to continue tomorrow. But rest assured, these young men truly sought out terrorist training, with one of them (CW2) making a "good bye" videos for his family. Mehanna said that he wanted to be a soldier for jihad and he wanted to kill American soldiers. There is clearly a support network here in Massachusetts and across the country for this. While the jihadi wannabes didn't commit any mass murders at a shopping mall, who's to say they wouldn't try again or think up something even worse? I'm pretty happy the feds stopped that from happening. I'll finish up reviewing the Hedidi Sullivan affidavit tomorrow.
There are a few more gems in there ("You don't tell your parents , 'I'm going to fight jihad.'...you just tell them 'I'm leaving.' ")
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive! (quotation from Sir Walter Scott)