Accused terror suspect pleads not guilty in US

July 21, 2010 00:53

BOSTON — A man accused in a terror plot to kill Americans pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges that he conspired to help al-Qaida.

Tarek Mehanna smiled and nodded to dozens of supporters in a federal courtroom in Boston before he was arraigned on a charge of conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. The charge was added last month in a superseding indictment against Mehanna and Ahmad Abousamra, a former Massachusetts man who US authorities say is now in Syria.

The men already faced charges that they conspired to kill American troops in Iraq, assassinate two unnamed US politicians and shoot shoppers in US malls.

A trial date of Oct. 3, 2011, was set to give the defense time to examine thousands of pages of government evidence.

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