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Massachusetts man goes to trial on U.S. terror charges

Published 10/22/2011, AP Legal Affairs Writer

Prosecutors portray Tarek Mehanna as a terrorist in the making, a man who tried to help al-Qaida by promoting violent jihad online and traveling to Yemen to seek training in a terrorist camp. But Mehanna's lawyers say he was just a college kid expressing his political views the way many people do — over the Internet — and no matter how unpopular his opinions, they are protected by the First Amendment. As Mehanna goes on trial in Boston next week, some experts see it as a case that will test the limits of counter-terrorism laws.

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