Massachusetts: Islamic terrorist suspect seeks support on Facebook and YouTube


...he should have no problem finding a wide variety of support from millions of people on Facebook and YouTube, and some of the folks behind the scenes at the companies....

(Examiner) A Sudbury, Massachusetts man awaiting trial for allegedly providing material support for Al Qaeda is using websites such as Facebook and YouTube to ask for donations and support for his legal case, the Boston Globe reports.

Tarek Mehanna, a 27-year-old Egyptian-American, was arrested in October and accused of providing translation of Arabic videos and documents that incite jihad, or holy war, against the United States.

According to the FBI complaint, Mehanna and co-conspirators also traveled to the Middle East in 2004 to seek military training at a terrorist training camp and discussed in online forums a plot to acquire automatic weapons for use against civilians in shopping malls.

On the website freetarek.com, Mehanna's brother has posted letters and poems from the jailed suspect stating that the case against him is built on lies, drawing comparisons to the case made by the Bush administration to go to war in Iraq.

From his prison cell in Plymouth, Mehanna wrote a poem called My Crime that appeals more to the injustice of his captivity than to his innocence on the charges against him:
... the reason for which I sit behind these cement walls
Is: Terrorism! Assassinations! Weapons! And shopping malls!
Flashback to when they stood before the entire world and lied
Screaming 'WMD!' to render a slaughter justified;

If such could be done to fulfill that bloody vision
What's one more deception to throw one man in prison?
According to legal experts interviewed by the Globe, Mehanna's case is complicated by the fact that he is accused of disseminating information available on the Internet, which could be construed as a matter of free speech.

Marc Sageman, a former CIA officer, said prosecutors may be taking the case too far.

"There are going to be extremist views on the Internet,’’ Sageman told the Globe. “In a free society, you’re supposed to be able to read good material and despicable material.’’

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