A federal appeals court will hear arguments in the case of a Massachusetts man convicted of conspiring to help al-Qaida.

Tarek Mehanna was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison after being convicted last year of four terror-related charges.

Prosecutors said Mehanna traveled to Yemen to seek training in a terrorist camp with the intention of going on to Iraq to fight U.S. soldiers.

When that plan failed, prosecutors said the Sudbury resident returned to the U.S. and disseminated materials online promoting violent jihad. The case is scheduled to be heard Tuesday by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The defense is appealing on several grounds, including whether the evidence of his overseas travel plans was enough to support a conviction, and whether the jury was properly instructed on Mehanna's First Amendment rights.