US court lets stand terrorism conviction
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has left in place the terrorism conviction of a man who argued that his online activities were free speech, not tangible support for al-Qaida.
The justices did not comment Monday in rejecting an appeal from Tarek Mehanna of Massachusetts that challenged his conviction and 17 1/2-year prison sentence.
Mehanna was convicted of four terror-related charges and three charges of lying to authorities.
Prosecutors said he traveled to Yemen seeking terrorist training and intended to fight U.S. soldiers in Iraq. When that failed, they said, he returned home and promoted violent jihad online.
Mehanna’s lawyers said he didn’t give any tangible support to al-Qaida, and his online activities were protected free speech.
The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston previously denied his appeal.