Seven North Carolina residents have been arrested and charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and "conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad," the Justice Department announced Monday. The seven – six U.S. citizens and Hysen Sherifi, a 24-year-old Kosovo native and legal permanent resident of the United States – are accused of preparing to engage in violence and die as martyrs.
According to the indictment returned July 22 by a federal grand jury in North Carolina, the group obtained assault weapons and conspired to provide money, transportation, training and personnel to carry out terrorist attacks. Some defendants allegedly tried to radicalize others into believing that "violent jihad was personal religious obligation," the Justice Department said in announcing the indictment.
The government alleges that from 1989 to 1992, defendant Daniel Patrick Boyd traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to "receive military style training in terrorist training camps for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad" and fought against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. In 2006, he went to Gaza "and attempted to enter Palestine in order to introduce his son to individuals who also believed that violent jihad was a personal obligation on the part of every good Muslim."
In 2007, Boyd and several other defendants left the United States for Israel and tried again unsuccessfully to engage in violent jihad. According to the indictment, after returning to the U.S., Boyd twice made false statements to federal agents about who he had planned to meet during his trip to Israel.
In 2008, Boyd allegedly solicited money to enable two other individuals to go overseas to engage in violence and showed codefendant Sherifi how to operate an AK-47 assault weapon. In April of this year, Boyd purchased multiple rifles. On June 10, 2009 and July 7, 2009, Boyd and a number of his codefendants "practiced military tactics and the use of weapons on private property in Caswell County, North Carolina. "
Over the past three years, Boyd "has conspired with others in this country to recruit and help young men travel overseas in order to kill. Given the weapons allegedly involved in this conspiracy and the seriousness of the charges, the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who were able to bring about this case and safely remove these defendants from our streets deserve special thanks," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's National Security Division.