Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Terrorists home-grown in North Carolina: Tar Heels lock and load!

Lock and load, North Carolinians, the Islamic terrorists ain't just in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other points far east. They're right here at home, plotting terror in the Old North State.

The News & Observer in Raleigh has the details of this home-grown terrorist cell in our midst.

RALEIGH -- To those they lived among, seven men accused of an intricate terrorism plot lived simply, quietly and kindly.

To neighbors and friends, Daniel Boyd was a father who stopped his work at noon each day for prayer. Dylan Boyd, Daniel's son, was a college student at N.C. State University who until last year worked as a clinical services technician at WakeMed Raleigh Campus. Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan was a newlywed; his father owns a Raleigh car dealership.

To federal authorities, these men and four others plotted to kill themselves and others in the name of Islam. Their activities, tracked by FBI agents over three years and detailed in federal indictments released Monday, tell of an elaborate scheme hatched in a quiet Johnston County neighborhood and nondescript apartment complexes across Raleigh and Cary.

Those arrested Monday include Daniel Patrick Boyd, 39, who was considered the ringleader of the group, and who fought with Afghan Muslims against the Soviets; Hysen Sherifi, 24; Anes Subasic, 33; Zakariya Boyd, 20, and Dylan Boyd, 22; Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22; and Ziyad Yaghi, a 21-year-old Cary High School graduate.

All but one of the defendants are American citizens. Sherifi, a native of Kosovo, is living in the United States legally.

All seven men are charged with conspiring to provide support to terrorists and conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people abroad. Each is expected to have a detention hearing this week. Until then, they are being held without bond.

Boyd, the ring-leader, was too radical for a mosque in Raleigh so he recently split with them and joined a mosque in Durham more to his liking.

Investigators say the Boyds stockpiled military-style weapons and trained at a rural site in Caswell County, on the Virginia border north of Alamance and Orange counties. The investigators say that Daniel Boyd split from his mainstream mosque in Raleigh this year over "ideological differences," according to the indictment.

A spokesman at the Islamic Center in Raleigh said he did not know the suspects; an estimated 1,200 people attend Friday services at the center. Hassan and Yaghi both attended Al-Iman School, which shares space with the Raleigh mosque, according to former teacher Samar Hindi. Most recently, Daniel Boyd had been attending Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman, a mosque in Durham.

"In our dealings, we found them to be people of good moral character," said Hisham Heda, board chairman at the Durham mosque.

Whew. That makes me feel much better knowing the Durham mosque leader says this terrorist cell's members are all "people of good moral character." Don't you feel reassured?

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