Mehanna, who has taught math and religion at Alhuda Academy, made a defiant court appearance hours after his arrest. He refused to stand to hear the charge against him and finally did _ tossing his chair loudly to the floor _ only after his father urged him to do so.
"This really, really is a show," his father, Ahmed Mehanna, said as his son was being led away in handcuffs. When asked if he believed the charges against his son, he said, "No, definitely not."
Prosecutors said Mehanna worked with two men from 2001 to May 2008 on the conspiracy that, over time, intended to "kill, kidnap, maim or injure" soldiers and two politicians who were members of the executive branch but are no longer in office. Authorities refused to identify the politicians and said they were never in danger.
Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Loucks said the men justified the planned attacks on malls because U.S. civilians pay taxes to support the U.S. government and because they are "nonbelievers," Loucks said. He refused to identify the targeted malls.
Mehanna _ who received a doctorate in 2008 from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston, where his father is a professor
_ allegedly conspired with Ahmad Abousamra, who authorities say is now in Syria.