Mehanna was arrested in 2009 and charged with “providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.” He was also charged with conspiracy to kill in a foreign country and lying to law enforcement officers.
Prosecutors said the defendant answered a call to action from Osama bin Laden to battle U.S. soldiers.
They said he traveled to Yemen in 2004 to seek terrorism training, but never received it, and had planned to travel to Iraq to fight U.S. troops.
They also said he translated videos and texts from Arabic to English and distributed them online 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. Continue reading