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Defense Contests Key Witness In Mehanna Terror Trial

This article is more than 8 years old.
Kareem Abu-zahra testifies for Wednesday in Boston federal court. (Margaret Small for WBUR)
Kareem Abu-zahra testifies for Wednesday in Boston federal court. (Margaret Small for WBUR)

A lawyer for a Massachusetts man accused of conspiring to help al-Qaida is suggesting that it was a key prosecution witness, not his client, who wanted to find a terrorist camp in Yemen.

Tarek Mehanna is a Sudbury man who faces a possible life sentence if convicted. His former friend Kareem Abu-zahra testified for a third day Wednesday in his federal trial.

Abu-zahra testified that he, Mehanna and a third man traveled overseas in 2004 with the intention of getting terrorist training and then fighting U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

But during cross-examination, Mehanna's lawyer said his client went to Yemen for religious study, not terrorism training. He suggested that it was Abu-zahra who wanted training for jihad, or holy war.

Abu-zahra testified under a grant of immunity from prosecutors.

This article was originally published on November 30, 2011.

This program aired on November 30, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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