Judge Rejects Mass. Man’s Bid To Dismiss Terror Charges

By Denise Lavoie, AP Legal Affairs Writer

BOSTON (AP) – A judge has rejected a bid to dismiss parts of charges accusing a Massachusetts man of providing support to al-Qaida.

Lawyers for Tarek Mehanna argued in federal court Wednesday that many of the activities alleged by prosecutors amount to free speech protected by the First Amendment, including his translation of a publication entitled, “39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad.”

A prosecutor argued that it is up to a jury to decide whether Mehanna’s activities were just constitutionally protected expressions of his beliefs or whether they demonstrate that he attempted to help a terrorist organization.

O’Toole rejected the motion to dismiss the allegations, saying it was premature, but said the defense could renew the motion during the trial.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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