The United States v. Tarek Mehanna

By NATE HOMAN  |  September 28, 2011

Mehanna is an American citizen — innocent until proven otherwise — who has spent the past two years in solitary confinement. If convicted, he faces a potential life sentence. Every time the US government brings charges against an alleged terrorist, it does so in the name of national security. The draconian anatomy of new laws and procedures in post-9/11 America makes it almost impossible for a defendant to receive a fair trial by preventing the defense from mounting a vigorous defense. The irony is bitter. It seems the only way America can defend itself is to limit and destroy much of what it holds dear in the process.

"If this is the FBI's idea of a terrorist," says Carney, "they are using a net that is designed to catch minnows instead of sharks."

Nate Homan can be reached at

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  •   THE UNITED STATES V. TAREK MEHANNA  |  September 28, 2011
    On a late-fall day in 2008, a 26-year-old Massachusetts College of Pharmacy PhD named Tarek Mehanna left his parents' Sudbury home to start a new life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he had received a prestigious appointment in the diabetes department at the King Fahad Medical City. He didn't make it.
    ... in the Boston Phoenix archives

 See all articles by: NATE HOMAN