Third N.C. family member pleads guilty to supporting terrorists
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A third member of a rural North Carolina family accused of plotting violent jihad overseas has pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
Dylan Boyd, 24, a college sophomore who federal prosecutors say used the alias ‘Mohammed,’ was indicted in Raleigh, N.C., in 2009 along with his father, brother and four other men. Boyd’s plea on Wednesday came four days before the scheduled trial of three co-defendants, the News and Observer of Raleigh reported.
Boyd’s father, Daniel Boyd, a drywall contractor described by neighbors as helpful and friendly, was named by federal prosecutors as the ringleader of an Islamic terror cell in rural Johnston County, east of Raleigh.
The elder Boyd, 41, who prosecutors said used the name ‘Saifullah,’ meaning Sword of God, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to ‘murder, kidnap, maim and injure people in a foreign country.’
Boyd is expected to testify for the prosecution in the upcoming trial for three co-defendants in New Bern, N.C., the newspaper reported.
Zakariya Boyd, Daniel’s son, pleaded guilty in June to charges of conspiring to provide material support for terrorists.
The Boyds are U.S. citizens who converted to Islam. Prosecutors said they trained to become mujahedin, or holy warriors, and vowed to die as Muslim martyrs, if necessary.
The July 2009 indictment charged the group with conspiring ‘to advance violent jihad ... and committing acts of murder, kidnapping or maiming persons.’
Prosecutors said the defendants trained in military-style tactics and traveled to the Middle East and Kosovo to lay plans for attacks. FBI agents found nearly two dozen guns and 27,000 rounds of ammunition in Daniel Boyd’s home, according to prosecutors.
Federal investigators gathered 800 hours of recordings detailing the alleged plot, prosecutors said.
Dylan Boyd is scheduled to be sentenced in December. A federal judge told him Wednesday that, under his plea arrangement, he faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Daniel and Zakariya Boyd will be sentenced after the trial of co-defendants Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, Ziyad Yaghi and Hysen Sherifi. All three have pleaded not guilty.
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-- David Zucchino in Raleigh, N.C.