Hysen Sherifi sought help from an inmate to hire a hit man to kill and behead three witnesses who testified against him at his previous terrorism trial. But the inmate turned out to be a government informant. Sherifi allegedly told the informant that he wanted to "use the photographs of the dead bodies and severed heads to convince other potential witnesses not to testify against him, or his co-conspirators." The informant claimed he knew a hit man, nicknamed "Treetop" or "Tree" in court papers, who would be willing to carry out the killings for money.
Sherifi, a Kosovo native, is serving a 45-year prison sentence for conspiring to wage jihad overseas and engage in military-style training. Sherifi plotted with Daniel Patrick Boyd, the alleged ringleader of the terrorist cell to attack U.S. military personnel and their families at the Marine Corp Base located in Quantico, Va.
The murder-for-hire scheme involved Sherifi's brother, Shkumbin Sherifi, and friend, Nevine Aly Elsheikh. Both pleaded guilty last week in the murder-for-hire scheme.
Elsheikh provided the hit man the names, addresses, and photos of Sherifi's intended targets. Both Elsheikh and Shkumbin Sherifi together gave the hit man $5,000 to cover the cost of carrying out the murders.
Hysen Sherifi's trial is expected to last through the week.