Today, after deliberating for less than ten hours, a federal jury found Tarek Mehanna guilty of the most serious charges leveled by federal prosecutors against him, including providing material support to terrorists, conspiring to kill in a foreign country, and lying to counterterrorism officials. He faces a possible life sentence.
As I reported in the July 25 issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Mehanna, a young Egyptian-American pharmacist who self-radicalized shortly after 9/11, gained notoriety as an English-language al Qaeda propagandist who helped plan multiple terror attacks. Mehanna’s dreams of waging physical jihad against the United States never materialized—mostly thanks to the incompetence of Mehanna and his terrorist cohort.
Misguided Boston leftists had come to view Mehanna as some sort of authentic Muslim civil rights activist. Here was a young man who took joy in the 9/11 attacks, celebrated Osama bin Laden as his spiritual father, and called for moderate and liberal Muslims to be brutalized for daring to challenge Islamism in their communities. Nevertheless, not long after my piece was published, Mehanna’s cause became a staple of the local Occupy Wall Street protest. Boston “occupiers” dressed in pink spandex and organized a flash mob near Boston’s South Station to bring attention to his “plight.”
By delivering a guilty verdict, the Boston jury decisively repudiated the nauseating message put forth by this bizarre—and politically sophisticated—alliance of the far left and radical Islamism.
Sohrab Ahmari is an Iranian-American journalist.