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In-Depth Interview: Independent Journalist Beau Hodai Exposes Arizona’s Outrageous “Domestic Terrorism” Prosecutions

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For 4 years, FBI informants tailed a Tucson Muslim teenager with a 6-year-old’s mental capacity, and busted him just after his 18th birthday.  The feds declined to prosecute, but Arizona got a conviction based on lower legal standards.Hodai is an independent investigative reporter, and his latest report, Arizona’s Manufactured Terrorism Threat is here.  Hodai lives out in the sticks, and the cellphone signal is a little sketchy at times.

Mahin Khan is a developmentally impaired teenager from Tucson, and was first reported to the FBI by an online instructor for writing angry email about US drone strikes in the Mideast.  His parents approved a psychiatric evaluation, but Mahin was held for 45 days and medicated to a zombie state, according to his mother.

One of many outrages, which we discuss early in the interview, is that Mahin was a juvenile, but did not receive the kinds of protections generally extended to persons under 18.  Hodai says that the mother, Shazia, took away Mahin’s cellphone to limit communication from FBI informants, one of whom invited the 14-year-old disabled boy to leave home and move in with him.

When Shazia reported these contacts to the FBI, nothing changed.  A second handler emerged, known as Omar, and a cellphone was smuggled into Mahin (over parental objections, known to the FBI) that yielded comments from the boy that were used to incriminate him.

After the feds declined to prosecute Mahin, Arizona’s ambitious attorney general, Republican Mark Brnovich, picked up the case, and used state laws with lower standards of crime than federal statutes.  When prosecutors figured out that Mahin’s “threats” were only aimed at federal property, it appears they just changed their evidence to say he was also targeting a DMV office, in order to comply with the terms of the Arizona law.

Hodai shares many details of this case, and his article covers 2 other cases, too.