The ringleader of a North Carolina terror cell was sentenced to 18 years in prison Friday in connection with a plot to wage violent jihad overseas.
Daniel Patrick Boyd pleaded guilty in February 2011 to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and plotting to murder, kidnap and maim people overseas. Between 1989 and 1992, Boyd received military-style training in terrorist camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the purpose of engaging in jihadi attacks. He also fought Soviet troops alongside the mujahideen in Afghanistan, court records show.
Anes Subasic, one of seven other defendants in the case, was tried separately on immigration and terrorism charges and received a 30-year sentence.
"People who are plotting to harm Americans are no longer a world away from us. Daniel Boyd led a group of extremists who chose to target innocent citizens in the U.S. and abroad. The Raleigh-Durham Joint Terrorism Task Force thwarted his plot and will keep pursuing those who threaten our society," Chris Briese, Special Agent In Charge of FBI Charlotte, said in a Justice Department statement.
In a recorded conversation, Boyd and Subasic had what prosecutors described as "a coded conversation in which they discussed preparing to send two individuals overseas to engage in violent jihad." Another recording showed the two men discussing exercising care so to avoid FBI scrutiny.
Several of the defendants led by Boyd traveled to Israel in June 2007 hoping to die "as martyrs in furtherance of violent jihad." After failing to get into the country, the men returned to plot attacks within the United States, including scouting the Marine Corps base at Quantico for a possible attack.
Boyd cooperated with authorities, prosecutors said during the sentencing hearing. After pleading guilty, Boyd testified against several of his co-conspirators who were convicted last October.
Boyd's two sons Zakariya and Dylan Boyd pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and received prison sentences between eight and nine years. Three other men charged in the plot—Hysen Sherifi, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan and Ziyad Yaghi—were found guilty on similar terrorism conspiracy charges. Sherifi was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Hasan and Yaghi got 15 and 31 years respectively.