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Judge Refuses To Dismiss Mass. Man's Terror Charges

Update at 5:25 p.m.:

U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. refused to drop the charges against Tarek Mehanna.


Original post:

A Massachusetts man will ask a judge to dismiss portions of charges accusing him of providing support to al-Qaida.

Lawyers for Tarek Mehanna argue that most of his activities amounted to free speech protected by the First Amendment.

U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. will hear arguments Wednesday on Mehanna's motion to dismiss.

Mehanna, an American citizen from the wealthy Boston suburb of Sudbury, is accused of conspiring to kill American troops in Iraq.

His lawyers say he translated texts and talked with people about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They say his speech was "at worst, political hyperbole."

Prosecutors, however, say Mehanna traveled to Yemen to seek training in a terrorist camp and supported terrorist groups by translating videos and textbooks intended to encourage others to participate in Muslim holy war, or jihad.

This program aired on August 3, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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