News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Arizona terror suspect Mahin Atif Khan, 18, told authorities he'd flee to Syria or Pakistan. His parents say he's not a theat to society because he's mentally ill. FBI first contacted Mahin's parents 3 years ago-Arizona Republic

"We believe that he does not pose any real threat to society," say Mom and Dad of arrested Arizona terror suspect Mahin Atif Khan, age 18. Parents say son has mental illness issues including autism. "Three years ago, Mahin went through an extensive inpatient psychiatric evaluation under the directive and supervision of the FBI." 

Oct. 10, 2016, "Arizona man pleads guilty to terrorism charges in planned attack," Arizona Republic, Tyler Paley

"An 18-year-old Tucson-area man accused of planning jihad-style attacks in Maricopa and Pima counties has pleaded guilty to three felonies and faces up to 14 years in prison, the Arizona Attorney General's Office announced Monday.

In a deal made with prosecutors on Friday, Mahin Atif Khan pleaded guilty to inciting or inducing terrorism, financing or managing terrorism, and to manufacturing, possessing or selling a prohibited weapon, court records show.

Khan's sentencing hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 4 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

His was the first conspiracy to commit terrorism case to be prosecuted by the Arizona Attorney General's Office, according to Mia Garcia, an office spokeswoman. Attorney General Mark Brnovich is working with the FBI to take a proactive approach to arrest and prosecute anyone plotting or planning a terrorist attack in our community, Garcia said.

Khan will be sentenced to the Arizona Department of Corrections for no less than five years, and no more than 10.25 years, for the crime of conspiracy to commit terrorism, court documents said. The crime of conspiracy to commit weapons misconduct carries a sentence of no less than two years in prison, the documents showed, and the two prison terms will run consecutively.

In regards to the terrorism crime, Khan agreed to be on supervised probation after his release from prison and will be prohibited from traveling outside of Maricopa or Pima counties, court documents showed. He will be required to hand over his passport to authorities.

Khan has been held without bond since his arrest July 1 after an elaborate investigation that included round-the-clock surveillance, undercover agents and communications on a "burner," or disposable, phone
At a hearing in July, FBI agent Benjamin Trentlage testified about how Khan unknowingly communicated with FBI agents over the course of several months, during which he detailed what he envisioned to be a “lone jihad attack.

At various points, Khan said he was eyeing a Jewish community center and an Air Force recruitment center in Tucson for attacks, as well as the state Motor Vehicle Division office in Mesa, Trentlage said."

Image caption: "Mahin Atif Khan (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)"


10/10/16, "Tucson terrorism suspect Mahin Khan reaches plea deal," Tucson News Now staff 

"According to court documents, an email from Khan said he was an American Jihadist looking to perform an "MO" (martyrdom operation) and that he supports ISIS and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)."... 


July 5, 2016, "No bond for Tucson man facing terrorism charges," AP/Tucson News Now

"Mahin Atif Khan, 18, was arrested at his parents' Catalina Foothills home by the FBI and Arizona Attorney General's office on Friday, July 1.

According to a release from the State of Arizona, Khan was denied bond due to the nature of the charges and because he is a flight risk. Khan told authorities he would flee to Syria or Pakistan....

Khan was found to be indigent and a Maricopa County Public Defender will be assigned to his case.

The next court appearance for Khan, who is being held in the Maricopa County Jail, is a status conference hearing set for Friday, July 8. A preliminary hearing has been set for Tuesday, July 12."


July 2016-Khan's parents say son is just mentally ill and not a danger to anyone

July 21, 2016, "Tucson terrorism suspect's parents: Son is mentally ill," Arizona Republic, Megan Cassidy

"The parents of a Tucson man facing terrorism-related charges say their 18-year-old son suffers from various mental-health issues and functions at the level of a 13-year-old.

In a statement released to Tucson News Now and Tucson's Channel 9 (KGUN) Thursday, the parents of Mahin Khan said they have been working with the FBI for the past three years, and that their son was being criminalized for his mental illness.

Khan was arrested July 1 on suspicion of planning attacks on various buildings in Maricopa and Pima counties. On Wednesday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge denied Khan bail. He is currently held in a Maricopa County jail.

In court testimony, FBI Agent Benjamin Trentlage acknowledged that authorities had first reached out to Khan's parents in 2013, when he was 15. Trentlage said that, at the FBI's suggestion, Khan's parents entered their son into mental-health treatment.

Trentlage said Khan does not have a driver's license that he's aware of, and acknowledged that his parents keep a close watch on him.

However, prosecutor Blaine Gadow told the judge it would be more difficult for Khan's parents to look after him now that he had turned 18.

Over the past several months, Khan unknowingly spoke with an FBI agent, believing him to be an ISIS operative, Trentlage said. Khan sought recipes for pressure-cooker bombs, instructed the agent to begin making them, and mentioned an Air Force base, various FBI offices and an Motor Vehicle Division office in Mesa as potential targets, Trentlage said.

Khan was arrested just after his 18th birthday.

Khan's parents denied to be interviewed when they left court this week. A judge ordered that media cameras refrain from filming them, in order to protect their safety.

Efforts by The Republic to reach Khan's defense attorney and parents were not immediately successful.

The statement released to Tucson media can be seen below.

"We regret to share the events that have led to our son, Mahin Khan's, recent situation with law enforcement.   

Since early childhood, Mahin has suffered with mental health issues including cognitive disorder and developmental delays, namely autism. His struggles with these conditions have been well documented throughout the years. Three years ago, Mahin went through an extensive inpatient psychiatric evaluation under the directive and supervision of the FBI. The evaluation documented the extent and severity of his mental health.

We have been fully cooperating with the FBI over the last three years to ensure that our son gets the help he needs. Mahin has gone through psychotherapy the past few years.  Although he is now 18 years old, Mahin's mental age according to mental health professionals is less than 13. He has limited ability to function on his own. We believe that he does not pose any real threat to society.

He simply does not have the mental capacity to carry out the horrendous acts he is being accused of planning. 

We hope that no parents with a child with autism or mental illness should ever have to experience what we are going through. We strongly feel that the criminalization of individuals with mental illness is one of the most significant challenges in our punitive criminal justice system and Mahin undoubtedly falls into this category.

We appeal to our fellow citizens for understanding, and ask that our son not be stigmatized due to his mental illness. We are going through trauma as a result of the current situation. We ask for the privacy as this case moves forward in the court system.  We appreciate the support from the community and those well aware of the situation.

Mr. and Mrs. Khan"


Oct. 10, 2016, "Arizona man pleads guilty to planning terrorist attacks,", Stephen Feller 

"The 18-year-old was planning a lone attack, considering a Jewish Community Center, Air Force recruitment center and DMV as potential targets."... 

"Mahin Atif Khan pleaded guilty on charges of inciting or inducing terrorism, financing or managing terrorism, and manufacturing, possessing or selling a prohibited weapon, which may send him to jail for up to 14 years. 

Khan, 18, who the government said has pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, was accused of writing e-mails to an alleged member of the Pakistan Taliban, looking for help to build explosives and plan their use."...


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