Jihad in Raleigh, NC E-mail
Written by APB Staff   
Blonde hair and blue eyes are not generally what come to the minds of many when they picture terrorists. But the recent indictment of a North Carolina man who authorities say was planning acts of terrorism in the name of "jihad" proves that the face of terror doesn't always look the way many people assume it would.

The case of Daniel Patrick Boyd, 39, is nothing short of bizarre. Neighbors and family members unaware of Boyd's politics and intentions to kill innocent people say they are totally blown away by the allegations.

But authorities indicate that the suspect's history and the collection of weapons he was putting together paint the picture of a violent extremist.

Boyd has been charged, along with two of his sons and four other men, all from North Carolina, after authorities felt they had built a strong enough case to make the arrests. Mr. Boyd, a drywall contractor, has militant roots dating back to the 1980s, when he was in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Prosecutors say that Boyd was there from 1989 through 1992, where he received military-style training in terrorist camps.

Of course, back then the Muhajadeen were not considered terrorists by the U.S. government, but rather freedom fighters, trained and equipped by the CIA as documented in the book and subsequent Hollywood movie "Charlie Wilson's War."

Boyd allegedly fought alongside Afghans against the Soviets and appears to have become enamoured with the identity of a "freedom fighter" and radical Islamic extremist.

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

Over the course of the last several years, authorities say, Boyd has spent his off-hours finding and training like-minded individuals to die as martyrs waging jihad, which is the Arabic word for holy war.

Authorities would not disclose any specific targets that Boyd and his co-conspirators had planned to strike, but suggested that the potential targets were overseas rather than here in the U.S.

Boyd and some of the others traveled to Israel in June 2007, intending to wage "violent jihad," but returned home without success, according to court documents.

Boyd's sons Zakariya Boyd, 20, and Dylan Boyd, 22, were named in the indictment. Another son, Luqman, died two years ago in a car accident.

The others charged are Anes Subasic, 33; Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22; and Ziyad Yaghi, 21. Hysen Sherifi, 24, a native of Kosovo and a U.S. legal permanent resident, was also charged in the case. He is the only non U.S.-citizen charged.

The seven men made their first court appearances in Raleigh recently, where they faced charges of providing material support to terrorism and "conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad."

Neighbors and others say that Boyd lived in a quiet lakeside home in a rural area south of Raleigh, where he and his family operated the drywall business.

Jim Stephenson, a neighbor in Willow Spring, said he was flabbergasted at the charges.

"We never saw anything to give any clues that something like that could be going on in their family," Stephenson told reporters from the Associated Press.

In 1991, Boyd and his brother were convicted of bank robbery in Pakistan and were sentenced to have a foot and a hand cut off of each of them, but the decision was later overturned.

The wives of the brothers told the Associated Press in an interview at the time of the bank robbery that the couples had U.S. roots but the United States was a country of "kafirs," which is the Arabic word 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 like-minded individuals that also believed that violent jihad was a personal religious responsibility, according to the indictment said. The document did not say which son Boyd took to Gaza.

Daniel Boyd's mother, who lives in Maryland, said she knew nothing about the current case.

"It certainly sounds weird to me," Pat Saddler told the AP.

It's unclear how U.S. authorities honed in on Boyd, but court documents seem to indicate that prosecutors will introduce evidence gathered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The strongest indication of Boyd's intent just might be found in his falling-out with the mosque he attended in Raleigh. Boyd's beliefs about Islam were not acceptable in the moderate mosque.

As a result, Boyd stopped attending services there and began meeting for Friday prayers in his home, U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said in an 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 told the Associated Press. "These people had broken away because their local mosque did not follow their vision of being a good Muslim."

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