Here are some highlights of the allegations contained in an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant for Tarek Mehanna's computer by FBI Agent Heidi L. Williams of the Joint Terrorism Task Force:
-- In the latter half of 2003, Mehanna, Abousamra, and a witness cooperating with the government discussed a plan to "obtain automatic weapons, go to a shopping mall and randomly shoot people." They were inspired by the success of the snipers who had terrorized the Washington, D.C., area in 2002.
-- In 2003, Mehanna, Abousamra, and a cooperating witness discussed the feasibility of assassinating a member of the executive branch of the United States government. In another conversation, Abousamra and the cooperating witness discussed targeting a second member of the executive branch.
-- A 2006 search of Mehanna's computer revealed that Mehanna and others had glorified the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The computer contained a picture showing Mehanna and others at the construction site at Ground Zero with "large grins and Mehanna has one finger pointed up in the air."
-- The computer search revealed that Mehanna translated and distributed materials promoting jihad, including Al Qaeda propaganda.
-- The search also revealed numerous jihad videos. In April 2006, Mehanna was asked about a video that depicted a detonation. He responded it was a remote control bomb designed to go off when an American soldier approached it. "Mehanna virtually smiled, using the ':-)' convention and stated, 'they wanted to reduce troop levels,' speculating that if any of those guys are left he doubts they are in the same shape as they were before their 'unfortunate stop,'" the affidavit said.
-- Mehanna, Abousamra and a cooperating witness set out for Yemen in 2004 to find a terror training camp but were unsuccessful. The cooperating witness backed out and saw Mehanna at a party a few weeks later. Mehanna told him "nothing happened in Yemen." Abousamra was also unsuccessful in signing up with a terror training camp in two trips to Pakistan in 2002. Mehanna also flew to Egypt in 2006 to meet Maldonado and discuss Maldonado's desire to fight in Somalia.
-- Mehanna maintains a blog, iskandrani.wordpress.com, in which he posts English-language translations of the work of various influential advocates of jihad.
-- By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff
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