In it’s Proffer, the government relied almost exclusively on the instant messages it retrieved from Tarek’s computer covering a period from January to August 2006. The government also references video files, audio files, images, documents, and cached web pages, which are found on Tarek’s computer in 2006. With the exception of one DVD that Tarek allegedly gave to a cooperating witness on April 23, 2007, the government does not offer any evidence regarding Tarek’s conduct after 2006. The bottom line is that Tarek is being detained because of opinions he expressed in 2006–opinions legally protected by the First Amendment.
The government’s proffer consists of a number of serious allegations regarding Tarek through its use of the 2006 instant messages. A discussion of the instant messages that the government referenced show that the government’s use of the instant messages was selective and disingenuous, often rendering conclusions that are exaggerated, distorted or simply wrong.
Defense’s Response to Gov’t Proffer
- “Material Support” by providing translation services and distributing material intended to inspire others to participate in violent jihad (Proffer, pp. 9–10).
- Support for successes of the terrorists and setback for the American and other westerners, rejection of moderation, and desire to leave the U.S. and not live amongst the “kuffars.”
- Mehanna’s experience in Yemen.
- Mehanna’s concern about law enforcement scrutiny.
- Mehanna’s continuing interest in participating in violent jihad, and additional efforts to convince and radicalize others.
- Additional Conversations re: Support for bin Laden–Mehanna: “My real father.”
- The Lessons of 39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad (Proffer, p. 64).
- The Government’s Conclusion.