"However, the Mehanna arrest is significant, because he was a member of a prominent circle of young Salafist-Jihadists living in the United States. His blog was primarily dedicated to Salafist-Jihadist thought, and it was regularly linked back on by other members of the circle. Those members remain very active online, blogging and sharing jihadi media. They are for the most part the virtual epicenter of Salafist-Jihadism in the United States.
“The government’s allegations against Tarek Mehanna”
By DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS
October 23, 2009 10:20 PM
SNIPPET: “On Wednesday, Tarek Mehanna of Sudbury, Mass., was charged in federal court with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Well likely be able to learn a significant amount about his ideological leanings, motivations, and radicalization, as Mehanna kept a fascinating blog; similarly, Mehannas friend and ideological cohort Daniel Maldonado kept a blog that yielded some important insights into his own radicalization. This article is concerned not with Mehannas radicalization, however, but with what authorities have alleged in the present case.
Key players. There are five individuals who play significant roles in the affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed by FBI Special Agent Heidi L. Williams (all page numbers in the following analysis refer to her affidavit). Tarek Mehanna is the accused in this case, a 27-year-old pharmacist from Massachusetts. Ahmed Abousamra is a 28-year-old who grew up in the Greater Boston area, whose father is described by the Boston Globe as prominent doctor and Muslim community leader. Daniel Maldonado is a friend of Mehanna and Abousamra who pled guilty two years ago to undergoing terrorist training in Somalia. CW2 is a cooperating witness who had known Mehanna for 15-20 years and was originally part of the conspiracy, but started cooperating with the government in 2006. Individual A is a white convert to Islam who worked as a teacher in an Islamic School in California, and had received religious training in Yemen, and had also attended a terrorist training camp (18).
Timeline of events. The criminal complaint is not written in chronological order. This section reconstructs the timeline of significant events alleged by the government. (It leaves out certain less consequential allegations, including some of those related to the false statements charges.) For Mehanna and Abousamra, it is a frustrating tale of traveling the world in search of jihad, but coming up empty-handed.”