Mehanna did not regret trip to Yemen, US alleges
Allegedly said he would repeat trip
By Milton J. Valencia | GLOBE STAFF DECEMBER 01, 2011
…Yesterday defense lawyers sought to discredit Abuzahra, a 31-year-old father of two from Lynnfield, saying much of his talk of jihad was bravado, rather than a commitment to terrorism. He acknowledged using alcohol and smoking marijuana and transferring from his first college because of too much partying, decisions that led defense lawyer J. W. Carney Jr. to question his history of devotion to Islam, which forbids the use of drugs and alcohol.
During often testy exchanges with Carney, Abuzahra reluctantly acknowledged that it was he and Abousamra who discussed domestic terrorist attacks, such as the shootings of key US officials and attacks on an Air Force base and a shopping mall. Mehanna at times was not there, he said.
Abuzahra acknowledged that the talk of assassinations was only “knee-jerk reaction,’’ to what he considered the “anti-Islamic’’ rhetoric of US officials.
He also said that Abousamra seemed to be extreme in his views and that Mehanna, often carrying books and Islamic texts, would pull him aside to try to calm Abousamra down.
“Tarek was all about trying to figure out what the rules were, and following those rules, isn’t that right?’’ Carney asked.
Milton J. Valencia can be reached at MValencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MiltonValencia.