By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 22, 2009
A Massachusetts man has been arrested on a charge of conspiring to support terrorists by seeking training from Islamic extremist fighters overseas, federal authorities said Wednesday.Tarek Mehanna
, 27, of Sudbury, a small town west of Boston, allegedly conspired from 2001 to May 2008 with Ahmad Abousamra and others to carry out attacks abroad, including on U.S. soldiers in Iraq, the Justice Department said.
Mehanna and the co-conspirators talked once or twice about assassinating two U.S. executive branch officials, according to the court documents.
In January, Mehanna was indicted for allegedly lying to investigators about the whereabouts of Daniel J. Maldonado, the first American to be charged with a crime for training with al-Qaeda in Somalia. Prosecutors allege that Mehanna lied when he said Maldonado, a Muslim convert from Boston who was captured in Kenya and is now serving a 10-year prison sentence in the United States, was in Egypt.
Maldonado allegedly told Mehanna that he was in "culinary school" making "peanut butter and jelly," which authorities said was code for training with Islamic extremists in Somalia.