A North Carolina man pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in connection with a plot to wage jihad abroad.
22-year old Zakariya "Zak" Boyd is the second defendant to enter into a guilty plea in the case of several men who plotted to wage violent jihad overseas. His father and cell ringleader Daniel Patrick Boyd pleaded guilty on Feb. 9 to one count conspiring to murder, kidnap and maim individuals in a foreign country in addition to one count of material support.
From November 2006 through July 2009, prosecutors say the Boyds conspired with others to provide currency, training, transportation and personnel to terrorists.
According to a superseding indictment, Daniel Boyd trained for battle in terrorist camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Along his journey, he met Abdullah Azzam, a mentor of the now deceased al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden. Boyd then tried to pass his radical beliefs on to his own sons.
Daniel Boyd was recorded by the FBI preaching violence to his family. He told his sons Zak and Dylan, another co-defendant, that "the blood of Muslims has become cheap…because most of the Muslims have abandoned jihad."
Zak and his father traveled to Israel in 2007, but returned one month later after failing in their attempt to engage in violent jihad. A year earlier, the indictment alleges, Boyd tried to get into Gaza "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."
As part of their plan, Zak and Daniel Boyd practiced using military tactics and weapons on private property in Eastern North Carolina. When agents searched the Boyd home that year they found 24 guns and more than 27,000 rounds of ammunition.
"This case shows extremists in this country are just as willing to do us harm as those overseas. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will keep seeking out and stopping anyone who plans to attack the United States," said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge M. Chris Briese in a DOJ release.
Zak Boyd faces 15 years in prison at sentencing. His brother Dylan and the other remaining co-defendants are set to stand trial in September. One defendant remains at large in Pakistan.