Man convicted of conspiring to aid al Qaeda
BOSTON — A Massachusetts man was convicted Tuesday of conspiring to help al Qaeda and plotting to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.
Tarek Mehanna, 29, of Sudbury, faced four terrorism-related charges and three charges of lying to authorities. A federal jury found him guilty of all counts after deliberating for about 10 hours.
Prosecutors said Mehanna and two friends conspired to travel to Yemen so they could receive training at a terrorism camp and eventually go on to Iraq to fight and kill U.S. troops there.
When the men were unable to find such a training camp, Mehanna returned home and began to see himself as part of the al Qaeda “media wing,” translating materials promoting violent jihad and distributing them over the Internet, prosecutors said.
Mehanna, who was born in the U.S. and raised in the Boston suburbs, will be sentenced April 12 and could be sent to prison for the rest of his life.
Parolee back in U.S. from Peru after 15 years
NEWARK — Lori Berenson, a New Yorker paroled from a Peruvian prison after 15 years behind bars for aiding a leftist revolutionary group, arrived in the U.S. on Tuesday for her first visit home since her arrest in 1995.
Miss Berenson, 42, did not speak to reporters after landing at the Newark airport with her 2-year-old son, Salvador. They were escorted by police to a waiting car as the boy looked with wonderment at the gaggle of reporters and flashing cameras.
Earlier, Miss Berenson’s mother, Rhoda Berenson, clutched a Bloomingdale’s bag containing a winter coat for her grandson as she awaited her daughter’s arrival.
“We are looking forward to the first holiday at home in a long, long time, and many relatives who haven’t met Salvador are excited to see him,” she said. “This is not a political time. This is a time for family, friends and holidays.”
Miss Berenson was arrested at 26 and accused of helping plot an armed takeover of Peru’s Congress, where she had been working as a journalist. The attack never took place.
She admitted helping the Maoist Tupac Amaru rebel group rent a safe house where authorities seized a cache of weapons after a shootout. But she has insisted she didn’t know guns were stored there and never joined the group.