N.C. terror suspects targeted American military
By Mike Baker
RALEIGH, N.C. — Two North Carolina terrorism suspects plotted to kill U.S. military personnel and one of them obtained maps of a Marine Corps base in Virginia to plan an attack, prosecutors said Thursday.
A superseding indictment returned against Daniel Patrick Boyd and Hysen Sherifi is the first time authorities have said the homegrown terrorism ring had specific targets. Prosecutors said Boyd "undertook reconnaissance" of the base located about 30 miles south of Washington.
"These additional charges hammer home the grim reality that today's homegrown terrorists are not limiting their violent plans to locations overseas, but instead are willing to set their sights on American citizens and American targets, right here at home," U.S. Attorney George Holding said in a statement.
Authorities have previously said the men went on training expeditions in the weeks leading up to their arrest in July, practicing military tactics with armor-piercing bullets on a property in rural North Carolina. Seven men are awaiting trial in the case, and investigators say an eighth suspect is believed to be in Pakistan.
An initial indictment had accused the men of plotting international terrorism and conspiring to support terrorism, and investigators have said some of the men took trips to Jordan, Kosovo, Pakistan and Israel "to engage in violent jihad." There was never any sign that the suspects had considered any targets in the United States.
The new indictment adds charges for conspiring to kill military personnel. It also adds weapons charges for Boyd, Sherifi and Zakariya Boyd.
Prosecutors say Daniel Boyd, a drywall contractor and the father of suspects Zakariya and Dylan Boyd, was the ringleader of the aspiring terrorist group. In lengthy speeches at his home south of Raleigh, he decried the U.S. military, discussed the honor of martyrdom and bemoaned the struggle of Muslims, according to audio tapes played during a detention hearing in August.
The FBI has said agents seized some two dozen guns and more than 27,000 rounds of ammunition from Boyd's home. The superseding indictment says Boyd possessed the armor-piercing ammunition "to attack the Americans," according to the U.S. attorney's office in Raleigh. Prosecutors did not immediately release the complete indictment and did not explain Sherifi's role in planning to kill military personnel.
Attorneys for Daniel and Zakariya Boyd and Sherifi did not immediately return calls seeking comment.