Federal prosecutors arrested a U.S. citizen, conspired to kill two prominent U.S. politicians and carry out a holy war by attacking shoppers in U.S. malls and American troops in Iraq.
Tarek Mehanna of Sudbury sought — but never received — training in terrorist camps and worked with others from 2001 to May 2008 on the conspiracy to "kill, kidnap, maim or injure" people in foreign countries and the politicans, authorities said.
The politicians were members of the executive branch who are no longer in office, authorities said. They refused to give their names.
Prosecutors said Mehanna conspired with two other men: Ahman Abousamra, who authorities say is now in Syria, and an unnamed man, who is cooperating with authorities in the investigation.
The three men discussed their desire to participate in "violent jihad against American interests".
They also hoped to attack U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.
Mehanna, 27, was arrested in November and charged with lying to the FBI in December 2006 when asked about the whereabouts of Daniel Maldonado, who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for training alongside al-Qaida members to overthrow the Somali government.
Authorities said Wednesday that Mehanna and his conspirators had contacted Maldonado about getting automatic weapons for their planned mall attacks.
The Associated Press has contributed to the report.