Parents of Tucson terrorism suspect Mahin Khan release statement

Published: Jul. 21, 2016 at 4:32 PM MST|Updated: Jul. 20, 2018 at 2:08 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The parents of Tucson terrorism suspect Mahin Khan have released a statement regarding their son and his charges.

They said he suffers from mental health issues and functions at the level of younger than a 13-year-old.

They said they do not believe he is a threat to society.

Khan, 18, was arrested July 1 on suspicion of conspiring to launch acts of terrorism against government buildings in Maricopa and Pima counties.

[READ: Man arrested on terrorism charges in AZ]

On Wednesday, a judge ruled he will not released on bond, stating he poses a substantial risk to the community.

[READ: Tucson terrorism suspect Mahin Khan will not be released on bond]

Tucson News Now obtained the following statement Thursday:

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. & Mrs. Khan

Since his arrest, Mahin Khan has pleaded not guilty.

He was assaulted in jail by other inmates on July 2.

[READ: Tucson terrorism suspect Mahin Khan assaulted in jail]

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