BOSTON (CBS) – Rezwan Ferdaus, the 26-year-old Ashland man accused by the feds yesterday of planning to bomb the Capitol and the Pentagon, and Tarek Mehanna, the 28-year-old Sudbury man awaiting trial on charges of conspiring to help other terrorists, have more in common than just the charges against them.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Both appear from news accounts to be the product of stable, law-abiding families.

Both lived with their parents in nice homes located in affluent suburbs.

Both allegedly had developed deep, vicious hatred for America and were eager for Americans to be slaughtered in the course of violent jihad, even though it’s a tough slog for either one to claim their anger flows from deprivation of any kind.

And while both Ferdaus and Mehanna are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, I suspect they have something else in common too.

I bet it never occurred to them that there would be so little sympathy for their allegedly murderous fantasies once they were exposed.

After all, Ferdaus is said by police to have had a habit of turning his back on the flag during the pledge of allegiance at Ashland High, a bit of juvenile business much-admired by at least some of our local left-wingers, like what’s-his-name over in Brookline.

Another of his alleged kids-will-be-kids-pranks: burning an American flag on the roof of the high school.

If there was little or no pushback then, wouldn’t any arrested-development case figure he’s free and clear to kick his fantasies up to the next level?

As for Mehanna, he has a slick web site dedicated to freeing him, even though it doesn’t seem to be generating much of a groundswell.

No, I bet these two alleged terror-enablers never envisioned getting caught, and suffering the consequences from an outraged society that ran out of patience with violent American-haters ten years ago this month.

And one other thing these two have in common – both are lucky they are alleged violent dissidents here in the US rather than in any of the wretched enemies of this country they seem to prefer, where they would likely not have survived even this far in the process.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Comments (21)
  1. tsal says:

    Interesting comments, Jon. I had never thought of them as looking for either sympathy or support. I thought more that they liked to take the country and what it stands for and rub it in the faces of the majority who love the United States and the freedoms it offers. I know some are calling for death but then they die a martyr. I’d love to see them all locked in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives – no parole – no contact with any one or any thing – not one type of “entertainment” such as reading material etc.

    As far as comparing these guys to the Rosenthal (was that his name) in Brookline, I wasn’t sure if that was your comment or a comment someone else made that you quoted. I don’t think that comparison is fair.

    1. Jon Keller says:

      tsal….no comparison being made to Rosenthal at all, just the point that knee-jerk anti-Americanism is enabled and even glorified in some quarters, perhaps helping fuel a false sense of security in hate-filled nut-jobs

      1. tsal says:

        Thanks Jon – I was wondering since a comparison would be anything but typical for you. Sorry to have misunderstood.

  2. Stanley11 says:

    They should be put into solitary and be forced to watch replays of Red Sox games form this month. That would be torture!

    1. Stanley11 says:

      …..”from” this month.

  3. foamy says:

    What amazes me about both of these cases is that this radicalization went, for all intents and purposes, unnoticed by family and friends. You can’t tell me that Tarek Mehanna’s parents knew nothing about his ‘aspirations’. I’m confident that it will come out at trial that they did. Same with this latest bozo. I agree with tsal…..death is an easy out for these clowns. Their eyes should never see the light of day again.

    1. tsal says:

      foamy – I thought the same thing. Both of these guys lived at home. If they were living in their own place, I’d understand – but at home??

  4. Enough says:

    Come on, it’s politically correct nowadays not to “push” the american flag or pledge of allegiance etc (hence the mention of Brookline). That is why when these unAmerican youth do things like he did (turn his back on the flag, burn the flag) it’s not acknowledged. Groups like the one in Brookline are so worried about someone being offended by the flag they don’t realize they are pandering to people like this. Don’t feed the insanity, every citizen of this country should be proud of the flag and respectful of this country. Losing that just feeds into the sick minds of these wanna-be terrorists.

  5. emom says:

    Why cnt we show them the same respect they show americans when they jail them for innocent reasons… hold them and treat them like they dont matter tucked away in a corner cell… pass the groul cause they do not deserve anythink better.

  6. Ellen says:

    Yes they both came from affluent families, but I have a feeling that mom and dad have a big influence on the hatred of Americans espoused by their sons. It’s a religious war here and radical Muslims can not stand anyone not in line with Islam or the teachings of Muhammad. Makes me wonder why we even let them in this country to begin with.

  7. DeeGee says:

    this is my opinion, If someone turned their back on his flag, he would not associate with said person or do anything for them, becuse it would be disrespecting him, his counry and his beliefs. BUT our citizens treat him with kindness and respect because he has a right to his opinion, yes he does, but I have a right to mine, you don’t stand for the national anthem, or turn your back on the flag, then you have insulted and disrespected me, therefore I turn my back on you. Be self sufficent, don’t ask ANY AMERICAN to do a thing for you, if your house is on fire, put it out yourself, if your mother has a heart attack you do cpr and care for her. You want your street plowed? Get a truck. And you owe us money for your time in Ashland high, I don’t want my taxes paying for your schooling. Enjoy your friggin rights.

  8. mikey says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they were spoiled little rich kids with no work ethic. They see the easy life of their parents and think they deserve it. When it doesn’t materialize, they get bitter. They never realize it was the hard work and dedication of their parents that led to their easy life. Instead, they think they are being ripped off and denied what they are owed, and looking for an outlet for their misguided hate.

  9. massman says:

    Interesting article and comments. I agree with the article in many respects. Did not see the need to mention the Brookline story. I’ll assure you Mr Keller, that we unpatriotic left wingers, are no more sympathetic to these terrorists, than those most patriotic right wingers. I disagree with the death penalty for these people. I personally think they should spend life in prison, while using whatever resources and connections to continue to assist the FBI in preventing further terrorist attacks. I believe solitary confinement is torture, and do not want to see the U.S. government participate in that practice. Although they’d probably opt for it after being with the other prisoners. I think this is actually a positive news story in some aspects. We prevented another terrorist attack. It is scary on the surface. But it seems as though at least our intelligence on this matter, is improving. We need to continue to learn how to better identify, locate, and prevent these terrorists. But we’ll never fully be able to keep them out. The crazies are always going to be out there, and unfortunately, some will get by. Just look at what happened in Norway.

    1. tsal says:

      Hi Massman – they would not survive in the prison community as you have pointed out so perhaps that is worse than solitary. I don’t support the death penalty for anyone and in the case of these two individuals think death would be an easy out. They would still die as martyrs.

      I absolutely agree with everything else you have said. We are getting better. I know some have blamed the families. Do we know who initially sent out warning to the feds on this?

      As far as terrorism. I know I’ve said before that my father-in-law was an American working in Italy. He was targeted countless times by the Red Brigade. He was forever saying that Americans really have no idea what terrorism is – even with all we have seen.

  10. tsal says:

    I don’t think – and this is my opinion – that being Muslim or not wanting to recognize the flag or being from a wealthy family has anything to do with this. These two men are sick individuals – period. McVeigh was Roman Catholic. Do we not allow Catholics into this country. Do we need to find out what religion Harris and Klebold were and stop admitting anyone from that religion. As for wealthy kids with no work ethic – they abound (along with wealthy kids who have a great work eithic) but the vast, vast majority don’t turn to terror.

  11. mikey says:

    I expect I’m foggy-minded today as I don’t remember posting at 12:30 pm. Oh well.

    1. tsal says:

      I’m foggy minded most of the time so am glad for the company!

  12. mikey says:

    Why don’t wanna be terrorist such as Ferdaus and Mehanna hop on a plane to the nut-job country of their choice to begin life anew as cave-dwelling hate mongers? Afterall for Ferdaus, living in a four bedroom colonial in the burbs along with graduating from a presitigious university must have really sucked.

  13. Ron says:

    I definitely don’t like the idea of paying for his room and board for the rest of his life. Deport him to one of the —stan country’s willing to take him or execute him for treason. I know that is not politically correct but we seem to be, for some reason, at war with Islam,

  14. Ed Keenan says:

    NO sympathy BUT DEATH for all terrorists

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