Mehanna, of Sudbury, was arrested Oct. 21. He is accused of conspiring
with two men to randomly shoot mall shoppers and kill U.S. public
officials and soldiers in Iraq. Mehanna’s family has denied the charges
and Mehanna has drawn strong, public support from friends and students
he taught at a Muslim school in Worcester.
Ahmed Mehanna, teaches at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy’s
campus in Boston. He did not respond to requests for comment.
Tarek Mehanna, 27, the son of a well-liked Boston pharmacology
professor, was arrested by federal officials at his parents’ sumptuous
suburban home Wednesday, charged with lying about trips to the Middle
East and accused of plotting an assassination attempt and the mall
Tarek Mehanna, a 2000 graduate of Lincoln-Sudbury High School, was by
all accounts a regular guy who earned a doctorate from the
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences where his father
is on staff. He taught math and religion to children at his Worcester
mosque’s Alhuda Academy.
The mosque mentioned above is where the Mehanna family worshipped. The charges against Tarek Mehanna are not small. He is charged with plotting terror “for years,” – even before the attacks on September 11, 2001:
Federal terrorism investigators are alleging that Tarek Mehanna
researched and planned attacks both in the U.S. and abroad for years.
They claim he began researching terrorist training camps in Pakistan as
far back as 2001, before the Sept. 11 attacks.
According to court affidavits, Mehanna allegedly discussed with two
other men, identified as Ahmad Abousamra and Daniel Maldonado, crimes
ranging from an assassination of unnamed U.S. leaders to opening fire
on civilians inside a crowded shopping mall.
Authorities claim Mehanna flew to Yemen in 2004 to find a terrorist
camp and communicated with Maldonado and Abousamra through code words,
such as “making peanut butter and jelly,” to signify fighting in
Somalia and “culinary school” for terrorist camps.
Ahmed Mehanna said his son is a “loyal citizen:”
He said he has not seen his son since Tarek’s arrest and subsequent
court arraignment, where his son briefly refused to stand for the judge
and tossed a chair to the floor….
Asked whether he thought his son could be a terrorist, he said, “Terrorist? That’s news to me.”