Tarek Mehanna’s library manifests a deep Misunderstanding of the Religion of Peaceâ„¢. “Feds to cite “˜library” in terror trial,” by John Zaremba in the Boston Herald, October 20:
Federal prosecutors plan to use what one terrorism expert called a “Jihad library” “” including a call to arms from the Taliban’s spiritual leader “” in their case against an accused al-Qaeda reject from Sudbury who is set to stand trial next week.
The writings include a letter to all Muslims from Mullah Omar and others with titles such as “39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad,” “Make Martyrdom What You Seek” and “Guiding the Confused on the Permissibility of Killing the Prisoners.”
It’s all part of 800 pieces of evidence in the prosecution’s case against Tarek Mehanna, 29, of Sudbury, charged with providing and conspiring to support terrorists.
“Looks like a Jihad library,” said John Pike, director of the terrorism research group GlobalSecurity.org, when shown the titles of some of the entries. “The titles contain words and phrases like “˜jihad” and “˜martyrdom” and “˜killing the prisoners,” which tends to leave little to the imagination.”
Mehanna, an American of Egyptian descent, was arrested in 2009 after years on the FBI”s radar.
Feds allege he promoted jihad among followers of his blog, sought terrorist training in Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan and was once rejected by the Taliban for having a lack of experience.
Mehanna’s lawyers earlier this year criticized the prosecution’s case as “paper-thin” and heavily reliant on protected free speech. They admitted some of his actions “” smiling and pointing skyward in a photo at Ground Zero, for example “” were “crass, crude and sometimes just plain stupid” but not indicative of a terror plot. One of his lawyers, Janice Bassil, could not be reached yesterday.
The writings in the feds” evidence file include “the usual jihadi rants about the urgent need to kill infidels wherever they may be found,” Pike said, while those in the defense file include “the usual stuff about the inner jihad being more important than armed struggle, and all the awful things the Americans have done that might have gotten the defendant riled up.”
Prosecutors will need more than Mehanna’s reading list to score a conviction “” even in the estimation of Robert Spencer, who writes the blog Jihad Watch and has become controversial for his stands on Islamic extremism.
Only among those who want to obscure the truth, Zaremba.
“There’s no way they can or should convict him on the basis of his library. If that were the case, I’d be in jail myself,” Spencer said. “Tarek Mehanna would envy my library.
“The existence of such a library is circumstantial,” he said. “But I would be a very dangerous character if I had these books and believed in them.”
Not that I’m not a dangerous character as it is.