Via Boston Globe
A crucial witness in an FBI probe that led to terrorism charges against two Greater Boston men was rewarded for his cooperation yesterday with a sentence of probation for his own crime.
Bilaal McCloud, 54, of Roxbury, who began cooperating with the FBI in 2005 after he was indicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a semiautomatic pistol and ammunition, told a federal judge, “I felt it was my duty to assist in that way.’’
During the sentencing hearing in US District Court in Boston, prosecutors said McCloud “provided singular and very important information’’ in a significant case, but did not publicly disclose which case it was.
Two people familiar with the inquiry that led to the terrorism indictment in November of Tarek Mehanna, 27, of Sudbury, and Ahmad Abousamra, 28, a fugitive formerly of Mansfield, said McCloud is one of the unnamed cooperating witnesses in that case.[...]
McCloud converted to Islam while in state prison and befriended Mehanna and Abousamra while attending mosques in Greater Boston, according to one of the people familiar with the investigation.
Terror Arrest In Boston (UPDATED, BUMPED: Blogger Arrested)
Desiring to take “some kind of action in furtherance of jihad,” Tarek Mehanna and his conspirators allegedly had multiple conversations about obtaining automatic weapons and randomly shooting people in malls, including discussions of the logistics of the mall attacks, assaulting from different entrances, obtaining the automatic weapons, and possible attacks on emergency responders, US Attorney Michael Loucks said this morning....Arrested Blogger Identified: Tarek Mehanna
Mehanna is facing a charge of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Authorities allege he conspired with Ahmad Abousamra and others in the plot, Loucks said in a news conference today at his office in Boston.
The al Qaeda supporter and blogger arrested by the FBI earlier this week has been identified as Tarek Mehanna. Mehanna was arrested as he attempted to leave the country on charges that he had lied to the FBI about prior knowledge of another Muslim blogger's, Daniel "Al-Jughaifi" Maldanado, plans to travel from Egypt to Somalia to join the jihad. Maldanado is now in federal prison after being convicted of receiving specialized weapons training from an al Qaeda linked group in Somalia.Companion post at Jawa Report