8th terror suspect wanted

July 29, 2009 4:51:20 AM PDT
Federal investigators are searching for an 8th alleged conspirator charged with plotting terrorism with seven other men arrested on Monday.Sources close to the investigation said the man is 20-year-old Jude Kenan Mohammad - an American citizen who they believe is in Pakistan.

"Federal authorities hope to have him apprehended shortly," U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said without elaborating. Holding wouldn't identify the person, and the defendant's name is redacted from court papers.

Holding said the man conspired with 39-year-old Daniel Boyd, two of his sons, and four others who are indicted on federal terrorism charges.

Click here to read the indictment (.pdf)

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Court documents released Monday paint Daniel Boyd as a radical Muslim ringleader who recruited others to take part in jihad - or holy war - against unspecified targets overseas.

The other six arrested are Boyd's son's Dylan Boyd, 22, and Zakiriya Boyd, 20, plus Hysen Sherifi, 24 - a native of Kosovo and a legal permanent resident of the U.S. - Anes Subasic, 33, a naturalized citizen of the U.S. - Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22, a citizen of the U.S. - and Ziyad Yaghi, 21, a naturalized citizen of the U.S.

The charges shocked the quiet Wake County community of Willow Springs where the Boyds lived in the Shadow Oaks subdivision. Neighbors said Boyd - who led an unobtrusive rural life as a drywall contractor - was friendly and pleasant.

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The Justice Department in Washington says Daniel Boyd is a U.S. citizen who travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980's to train with rebels who were fighting the then Soviet Afghan occupation. He fought there between 1989 and 1992.

Prosecutors say Boyd's time in Pakistan also included terrorist training that he brought back to North Carolina.

"The indictment alleges that Daniel Boyd is a veteran of terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan who, over the past three years, has conspired with others in this country to recruit and help other young men to travel overseas to kill," said Assistant Attorney General David Kris.

Prosecutors would not detail what the group was targeting overseas. The indictment said they provided money, training, transportation and men to help terrorists. Boyd and some of the others traveled to Israel in June 2007 intending to wage "violent jihad," but returned home without success, the document said.

The men also face multiple weapons charges. The indictment alleges they purchased many semi-automatic assault style rifles and trained with the guns on property in Caswell County, North Carolina near the Virginia border.

Not the first arrest

Monday's arrests aren't the first time the Boyd's have made international headlines.

In 1991, Daniel Boyd and his brother were convicted of bank robbery in Pakistan. They were also 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 told The Associated Press in an interview at the time that the couples had U.S. roots but the United States was a country of "kafirs" -- Arabic for heathens.

It is unclear when Boyd and his family returned to the U.S., but in March 2006, Boyd traveled to Gaza and attempted to introduce his son to individuals who also believed that violent jihad was a personal religious obligation, the indictment said. The document did not say which son Boyd took to Gaza.

Reached at her home in Silver Spring, Md., Daniel Boyd's mother said she knew nothing about the current case.

"It certainly sounds weird to me," Pat Saddler said.

Hassan's father declined to comment, and other families did not have listed numbers or did not return calls.

In 1991 in Pakistan, Daniel Boyd and his older brother denied they were guilty of stealing $3,200 from the bank. When the sentence was imposed, Boyd shouted: "This isn't an Islamic court. It's a court of infidels!"

The men's wives said in an interview at the time that the couples had come to Pakistan in 1989. The wives refused to answer questions about their husbands' links to the Afghan mujahedeen, or Islamic holy warriors, though they did say their husbands embraced Islam nine years earlier.

The investigation

It's unclear how U.S. authorities learned of the allegations of the past three years, although court documents indicate that prosecutors will introduce evidence gathered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Eyewitness News has also learned additional information about the case that is not contained in the federal court papers. The information is coming from the Investigative Project on Terrorism in Washington, run by Steve Emerson.

He wrote the book "American Jihad: Terorists Living Among Us" and another book, "Jihad Inc".

Emerson said Daniel Boyd is a convert to Islam.

"He was recruited by Arab volunteers," Emerson said. "He kept up his ideological belief that the United States was an evil country after the Soviet empire was destroyed and then eventually became involved in this plot, recruiting his sons to carry out Jihad as well as others from North Carolina."

There was no indication Boyd wanted to attack targets in the US or in NC, but Emerson said it "certainly tells us that Al-Qaida, and other like-minded groups, are very active in the US to this very day and are able to secure weapons, train, raise funds, and even travel overseas to carryout Jihad in the belief that carrying out Jihad is mandatory."

"They call it 'violent Jihad;' it's Holy War, and it's meant to kill either Israelis, or Western targets in other countries," he said.

Emerson also said he didn't know the full details of how the FBI learned about the activity, but did say there was an informant.

"I do know that one of the individuals that participated in the plot, in the conspiracy, became an informant for the government," he said. "And in fact, he began taping some of the conversations he had with his other fellow defendants. And that's why there are quotes in the indictment coming from the tape recordings as well as some of the wire taps that were used by the government."

Emerson has written extensively about the North Carolina connection to terrorism. To learn more about the investigative project visit www.investigativeproject.org.

Federal prosecutors said the arrests show that the threat of terrorism is still very real.

"These charges hammer home the point that terrorists and their supporters are not confined to remote regions in some faraway land but can grow and fester right here at home," said United States Attorney George E. B. Holding.

Others travelled overseas

In July 2008, Sherifi left for Kosovo to engage in violent jihad, but it's unclear if he did any actual fighting. He returned to North Carolina in April 2009 to solicit funds and warriors to support the mujahedeen, but again the indictment did not give details. In October 2006, Yaghi went to Jordan to engage in violent jihad, according to the indictment.

Boyd's beliefs at odds with other Muslims

Boyd's beliefs about Islam did not concur with his Raleigh-area moderate mosque, which he stopped attending this year and instead began meeting for Friday prayers in his home, U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said in an Associated Press interview. He did not say whether any or all the defendants met with him.

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

Possible penalty

The seven all face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.


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