US terrorism suspect seeks release on bail

Tarek Mehanna has been charged with conspiring to plot terror attacks in US.

Boston: Lawyers for a Massachusetts man accused in a terrorist plot to kill Americans say he is not dangerous and should be released on bail while he awaits trial.

Tarek Mehanna, an American citizen from Sudbury, a wealthy Boston suburb, has been held for 16 months without bail on charges including conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation, al Qaeda.

A federal judge has scheduled arguments for Wednesday afternoon on his request.

In court documents, Mehanna`s lawyers argue the charges are based on political comments he made in text messages in 2006. They say the comments are protected under the First Amendment.

Prosecutors say Mehanna conspired with two other men to kill American troops in Iraq, assassinate two unnamed US politicians and shoot shoppers in US malls.

Bureau Report

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