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2 men face new terrorism charges

Pair accused of conspiring to aid Al Qaeda

Tarek Mehanna, 27, of Sudbury and a former Mansfield man tried to join a terrorist training camp but was rejected. He was arrested Oct. 21. Tarek Mehanna, 27, of Sudbury and a former Mansfield man tried to join a terrorist training camp but was rejected. He was arrested Oct. 21.
By Jonathan Saltzman
Globe Staff / June 18, 2010

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Federal prosecutors added another terrorism charge yesterday against a Sudbury man and a former Mansfield man who allegedly traveled to Yemen in a failed attempt to join a terrorist camp and then plotted to shoot shoppers at a suburban mall before scrapping the plan.

Tarek Mehanna, 27, of Sudbury, and Ahmad Abousamra, 28, who lived in Mansfield but is believed to be in Syria, were each charged in a new indictment with one count of conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, namely Al Qaeda, according to US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.

The two had previously been charged in a 10-count indictment with providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, conspiracy to provide false information to law enforcement officials, and several counts of providing false statements to law enforcement.

Although the new charge mentions support of a designated foreign terrorist organization, prosecutors had previously alleged that the men had sought to aid Al Qaeda since 2001.

Mehanna, a 2008 graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, was arrested Oct. 21 and has been held since then.

His Boston lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., was not available for comment yesterday.

Prosecutors allege that Mehanna and his friend Abousamra traveled to Yemen and tried to join a terrorist training camp but were rejected. The two then plotted to shoot shoppers, but abandoned the plan because they could not get automatic weapons, prosecutors allege.

They are also accused, but not charged, with plotting to kill two unidentified government officials.

If convicted of material support charges, the most serious offenses, each man faces up to 15 years in prison.

Saltzman can be reached at jsaltzman@globe.com.

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