TUCSON, Ariz. (KSAZ) - The parents of a man accused of plotting terror attacks in Tucson and Phoenix released a statement to the media on Thursday.
Tucson resident Mahin Khan was arrested by FBI officials on July 1 after he allegedly conspired to commit terrorist acts on buildings in Tucson and Phoenix.
Investigators say Khan pledge his allegiance to ISIS and praised recent terror attacks in Paris, Brussels and Orlando.
The 18-year-old's parents released the following statement regarding their son's arrest and indictment:
"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