Seven charged with plotting ‘jihad’

Author: Associated Press

Officials said the group was led by Daniel Patrick Boyd, a married 39-year-old
who lived in an unassuming lakeside home in a rural area south of Raleigh,
where he and his family walked their dog and operated a drywall business.

But two decades ago, Boyd, who is a US citizen, trained in terrorist camps in
Pakistan and Afghanistan and fought against the Soviets for three years
before returning to the United States.

An indictment released yesterday does not detail any specific terrorist plans
or targets overseas, although it claims some of the defendants travelled to
Israel in 2007 with the intent of waging “violent jihad” and returned home
without success.

“These charges hammer home the point that terrorists and their supporters are
not confined to the remote regions of some far away land but can grow and
fester right here at home,” US Attorney George Holding said.

He would not give details of the alleged plots beyond what was in a news
release and indictment.

The seven men made their first court appearances in Raleigh yesterday, charged
with providing material support to terrorism.

If convicted, they could face life in prison.

Court documents charged that Boyd, also known as “Saifullah,” encouraged
others to engage in jihad.

Boyd’s beliefs did not concur with his Raleigh-area moderate mosque, which he
stopped attending and instead began meeting for Friday prayers in his home,
said Holding, who did not say whether any or all the defendants met with him.

“These people had broken away because their local mosque did not follow their
vision of being a good Muslim,” Mr Holding said. “This is not an indictment
of the entire Muslim community.”

In 1991, Boyd and his brother were convicted of bank robbery in Pakistan –
accused of carrying identification showing they belonged to the radical
Afghan guerrilla group, Hezb-e-Islami, or Party of Islam.

Each was sentenced to have a foot and a hand cut off for the robbery, but the
decision was later overturned.

Their wives said at the time that the couples had US roots but the United
States was a country of “kafirs” – Arabic for heathens.

Jim Stephenson, a neighbour of Daniel Boyd in Willow Spring, said he saw the
family walking their dog in the neighbourhood and that the indictment
shocked the residents.

“We never saw anything to give any clues that something like that could be
going on in their family,” Stephenson said.

Two of the suspects are Boyd’s sons: Zakariya Boyd, 20 and Dylan Boyd, 22. The
others include Anes Subasic, 33; Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22; and Ziyad
Yaghi, 21.

Hysen Sherifi, 24, a native of Kosovo and a permanent legal US resident was
also charged in the case. He was the only person arrested who was not a US
citizen.

No attorneys for the men were listed in court records.

Reached at her home in Silver Spring, Maryland, Boyd’s mother said she had not
heard of their arrests and knew nothing about the current case.

“It certainly sounds weird to me,” Pat Saddler said. “That’s news to me.”

It’s unclear how authorities learned of the activities, although court
documents indicate that prosecutors will introduce evidence gathered under
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

After the unsuccessful attempt at jihad in Israel, the men returned home,
officials said. Court papers also say Yaghi went to Jordan to engage in
jihad in 2006.

Boyd was also accused of trying to raise money last year to fund others’
travel overseas to fight. One of the men, Sherifi, went to Kosovo to engage
in violent jihad, according to the indictment, but it’s unclear if he did
any actual fighting.

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