Secret search of terror suspect revealedhttp://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1376702&srvc=rss
Two years before he was arrested, authorities conducted a court-authorized, clandestine search of accused al-Qaeda supporter Tarek Mehanna’s Sudbury home, scanning his computer and photographing books, videos and documents about jihad, a state trooper testified today.
Thomas Sarrouf, a trooper assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, said he was one of more than a dozen investigators who scoured Mehanna’s home in August 2006, while the now-29-year-old and his family were in Egypt.
Sarrouf, the government’s first witness in Mehanna’s trial in U.S. District Court in Boston, said investigators photographed Mehanna’s address book and videos of “jihadist combat scenes” in Bosnia, Chechnya and Iraq, as well as documents urging people to take leaves of absence from their studies and jobs to take up arms because no amount of demonstrations, speeches and flag-burnings would be enough to defeat the “Israeli barbarians.”
“The time has come for you to make a decision regarding your faith,” read one of the documents shown to jurors.
Defense attorney Janice Bassil argued the 10- to 12-hour search of Mehanna’s home was a “sneak-and-peak” authorized by a secret intelligence court, and investigators had no proof that he actually read the documents they found.
Mehanna, a U.S. native with a degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, is charged with conspiring to kill in a foreign country, conspiring to support a terror organization and lying to a federal agent. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.