About the jihadist character of the Beltway shootings, see here. An update on this story. “Beltway sniper alleged inspiration for terror suspect,” by Laura Crimaldi and Laurel J. Sweet for the Boston Herald, October 21 (thanks to James):
The Sudbury man accused of terrorism – who still lives at home with his parents – wanted to gun down mall shoppers in a plot inspired by the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks, according to court records connected to today’s arrest.
The 27-year-old also aimed to kill two members of the executive branch of the government, records state.
But Tarek Mehanna, of 6 Fairhaven Circle, could never obtain the guns he desired to carry out his twisted attack.
Mehanna is accused of conspiring with Ahmad Abousamra and others to obtain the automatic weapons needed to carry out a shopping mall ambush in which they planned to open fire at random, said acting U.S. Attorney Michael K. Loucks. Their crimes allegedly took place between 2001 and 2008.
State Department of Early Education and Care licensing records show Mehanna’s mother, Souad Mehanna, has held a license to run a home day-care center since Dec. 11, 1990. Her license allows for up to six children.
The mother spoke briefly to reporters this afternoon before climbing into a livery car outside her Sudbury home.
“He’s the best son. He’s the best guy. Very good heart,” said Souad Mehanna.
Her son, a member of the Worcester Islamic Center in Shrewsbury, had been out on bail since December, when his parents, Souad and Ahmed Mehanna, put up the two-story family home as an $836,000 personal bond following his Nov. 10 federal arrest last year on charges of lying during a terrorism probe.…
The mall plot was inspired by the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks and was hatched the second half of 2003, according to an affidavit signed by FBI Agent Heidi L. Williams.
Abousamra, Mehanna and a cooperating witness sought out Daniel Maldonado to provide the gun power for the attack, which would also target emergency responders. The cooperating witness traveled to New Hampshire to meet Maldonado, 31, who had gang contacts before converting to Islam. The plan was abandoned, however, because Maldonado could only provide handguns, and not the automatic weapons sought for the attack, the affidavit said.
Maldonado is serving 10 years in prison for receiving firearms and explosives training at an Islamic Courts Union camp in Somalia. Mehanna was charged last year with lying to FBI agents investigating Maldonado….
In 2004, Mehanna and Abousamra traveled to Yemen to seek jihad training. The men prepared for the trip by hiking, trimming their beards and watching jihad videos, including some from the Chechnyan jihad, the affidavit said.
Mehanna told a cooperating witness the trip was a “failure” because the people they were instructed to seek out were either on a pilgrimage to Mecca or in jail. Despite this, Mehanna told the informant he did not regret the trip because “it was the best two weeks of his life.”…
The men are also accused of participating in violent jihad against American interests and their desire to die on the “battlefield.”…