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Home Front: WoT
Final witness called in Tarek Mehanna trial
31 days of testimony ended today as the defense team for accused terror supporter Tarek Mehanna called its last witness in his federal trial in Boston. Defense lawyers insisted they had shown that the young man was not an Al Qaeda sympathizer.

The jury in US District Court could begin deliberating the case Friday afternoon, following what should be dramatic closing arguments from both the prosecution and defense.

One of Mehanna's lawyers, Janice Bassil, said, "I think we're going to be able to show that the government never proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. They did a lot to try and exaggerate things to scare the jury, but this case is about what happened, not what he said or what he thought. There is still freedom of speech in this country."
When it comes to the arc to jihad, what one says and thinks are part of what happened.
The defense's last witness was Marc Sageman, of Sageman Consulting LLC, a sociologist who said he served as a spy in the CIA, and who worked with the Afghan commanders who defeated the Soviet Union's occupation of their country. Sageman, also a certified doctor and psychiatrist, has become a leading analyst in studying the definition of a terrorist from a social science perspective,
What on earth does that mean?
and he has worked as an advisor to national security agencies ranging from the FBI to the CIA, the Secret Service, and Army special operations units.
He sounds awfully impressive...was his advice followed, after they listened to him very politely?
Defense attorneys attempted to use his testimony to show that Al Qaeda does not seek to recruit members or raise money on the Internet, thereby weakening the argument that Mehanna provided "material support" to the organization.
Everybody knows Al Qaeda puts the materials out there, then waits for people to persuade themselves. Active recruiting is too dangerous, given all those interested agents of the FBI, the CIA, MI6, the Germans, the French, etc and so forth -- surely Dr. Sageman MD, PhD has not forgotten Inspire magazine?
Sageman was also used in an effort to refute the testimony of Evan Kohlmann, a analyst for the prosecution who told jurors that Al Qaeda seeks to inspire and recruit its followers by reaching them on the Internet. Sageman said he uses a "scientific method" for his studies, while Kohlmann "tells stories."
Well, then. Nothing more to be said. Except, of course, that the best way to convey information to others is to tell stories, after which they can dig into the data for themselves.
He also claimed that Al Qaeda's most successful recruitment period was before the Sept. 11 attacks, and it occured in countries where the Internet was rarely used. He said with a straight face the distribution of information on the Web has not worked. He said, "Al Qaeda is basically vanishing right now. It's bankrupt."
That would be the original group in Pakistan. The associated groups are doing fine, bolstered as they are by drug and crime money. It's surprising such an expert as Dr. Sageman MD, PhD was unaware of that.
Posted by:ryuge