Jury selection in Mass. terror case begins

By the Associated Press | October 25, 2011 | 1:55 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — Jury selection in the trial of a Massachusetts man charged with providing support to a terrorist group has started.

The first pool of 60 potential jurors for the trial of Tarek Mehanna was brought into U.S. District Court in Boston on Monday morning.

The 29-year-old Sudbury man is accused of trying to help al-Qaida and plotting to kill American soldiers in Iraq.

Prosecutors say he made an unsuccessful tip to Yemen to seek training in a terrorist camp and also promoted violent jihad online.

Mehanna's lawyers say he went to Yemen to seek religious study and that his online activities were protected by the First Amendment.

Opening statements by prosecution and defense attorneys are expected Thursday. The trial is expected to last six to seven weeks.