Court records unsealed Monday accuse a former member of a North Carolina jihad cell of plotting to kill witnesses who testified against him at his federal trial.
Hysen Sherifi was sentenced earlier this month to 45 years in prison for conspiring to attack targets overseas and engage in military-style training. Sherifi was also accused of plotting with the terrorist cell's alleged ringleader, Daniel Patrick Boyd, to attack U.S. military personnel and their families at the Marine Corp Base located in Quantico, Va. Sherifi is imprisoned at the New Hover County Detention Facility in North Carolina.
According to federal authorities, Sherifi asked for help in hiring a hit man to kill several people, including three witnesses who testified against him at his trial and an inmate who allegedly defrauded him of money. But the person he sought help from is a confidential law enforcement informant. Sherifi told the informant that he wanted pictures of the dead bodies and severed heads to warn other potential witnesses not to testify against him.
Details of the "murder-for-hire scheme" were provided in separate affidavits filed against Sherifi's brother, Shkumbin Sherifi, and Nevine Aly Elshiekh, identified in the documents as Sherifi's friend. No charges have been filed against Sherifi related to the new plot.
The affidavits allege Elshiekh visited Sherifi several times in his cell. Elshiekh identified herself as "Hysen Sherifi's friend" and provided the fake hit man the names, addresses, and photos of Sherifi's intended victims, two of which were witnesses at Sherifi's federal trial. She also provided $750.00 in cash to the fake hit man, nicknamed "Treetop" or "Tree" in the affidavits.
Nevine Elshiekh is listed as an instructor on the website for the Sterling Montessori Academy, a charter school in Mooresville.
Shkumbin Sherifi also met with the hit man and gave him $4,250 to cover expenses in carrying out the murders. The hit man confirmed with Sherifi's brother that the total amount given him was $5,000 but said he could only kill one person for the money.
"So you know that's only for one person. So you need to ask Sherifi which one he wanted killed. The black guy or Arab," the hit man is quoted in the affidavit saying.
Detention hearings have been scheduled for both Elshiekh and Shkumbin Sherifi at the federal court house in Wilmington on Friday.