Local News

Convicted Triangle terrorist found guilty in beheading plot

Posted November 8, 2012

— A convicted Triangle terrorist was convicted Thursday on federal charges of plotting to kill government witnesses who testified against him in his 2011 terrorism trial.

Video clip of Elsiekh, FBI informant (clip 1) Audio, video in Sherifi murder-for-hire case

Hysen Sherifi, 28, was found guilty on nine counts involving conspiring to commit a murder-for-hire. Prosecutors said he enlisted the help of his younger brother and a female friend to pay a hit man to carry out the killings against three witnesses and three law enforcement officers.

He faces a potential maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for Feb. 4.

An FBI informant accepted $5,000 in payment and then provided faked photos appearing to show a beheaded corpse as confirmation of the hit, federal prosecutors argued.

Sherifi, who represented himself, called no witnesses to testify on his behalf.

Frequently during the trial, he erupted in outbursts and at times preached to jurors, causing U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt either to warn him about his actions or to remove him from the courtroom.

As he was escorted from court Thursday, he yelled at Britt: "I find you guilty of conspiracy with Satan."

The jury deliberated for a little more than an hour Thursday before reaching its verdict in the four-day trial.

“Thanks to a coordinated law enforcement effort, Hysen Sherifi’s jailhouse plot to behead federal agents and witnesses involved in his prior terrorism prosecution was thwarted before anyone was harmed. Today, he is being held accountable for his actions,” said Lisa Monaco, assistant attorney general for national security. “I applaud the agents and prosecutors responsible for this successful prosecution.”

Hysen Sherifi Convicted Triangle terrorist found guilty in beheading plot

Prosecutors said Sherifi was already in custody at the New Hanover County Detention Facility in the terrorism case in October 2011 when he asked another inmate in the same lockup to help him hire a hit man.

The fellow inmate contacted the FBI, allowing federal agents to set up a sting operation that included a confidential informant posing as the representative of an imaginary assassin named Treetop.

At Sherifi's direction, his brother, Shkumbin Sherifi, and friend, Nevine Elshiekh, spent the first week of 2012 rounding up $5,000 to pay for the initial hit on a government witness, prosecutors said.

In the sting, a middleman collected the money and later provided faked pictures appearing to show the targeted witness beheaded and lying in a shallow grave.

Much of the government's case centered on audio and video recordings between November 2011 and January 2012 of jail calls, jail visits, and wiretap recordings between those involved.

Shkumbin Sherifi, 22, and Elshiekh, 47, who were also charged in the case, also testified as part of a plea deal they made last week. They each face up to 10 years in prison for their roles in the plot.

Sherifi was sentenced in January to 45 years in prison for plots to attack the Marine base at Quantico, Va., and targets overseas. He was among seven Triangle-area residents charged in 2009 with conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks, raising money and gathering weapons to support terrorist activities and engaging in military-style training.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ThatGuyYetAgain Nov 8, 2012

    My goodness! Didn't this nice fellow see my COEXIST bumper sticker? And surely he must have heard that when Obama took office in 2008, all the Muslims would love us? You know, like in Libya? This fellow just wasn't paying enough attention. Yes, that must be it.

  • baldchip Nov 8, 2012

    This man deserves a 1 way ticket to Club Gitmo!!

  • Nunya123 Nov 8, 2012

    flemingjames - the Federal Bureau of Prisons budget is only $8.5 billion. The vast majority of prisons are run by the individual states. The federal prison system only has 206,968 inmates compared to the over 2 million in state prisons and jails. If the federal system disappears in less than 45 years as you claim it will, they have plenty of time to transfer them to state prisons.

  • Screw WrAl Nov 8, 2012

    a real shocker.

  • bombayrunner Nov 8, 2012

    laugh it up funny boy ... in jail.

  • WageSlave Nov 8, 2012

    Probably doing it because marijuana plants cant vote and thus do not need to be pandered to
    Crumps Br0ther

    Plus, I am sure they have funded Monstano to have a GMO pot plant waiting.

  • Crumps Br0ther Nov 8, 2012

    oh, borders are wide open, DHS, isn't looking and doesn't care. Get ready for more to come.

    The fed govt is going to enforce its anti drug laws in WA and CO after the recreational marijuana laws were passed. But they wouldnt enforce their immigration laws in AZ? Priorities are all out of whack, ya think? Probably doing it because marijuana plants cant vote and thus do not need to be pandered to

  • Crumps Br0ther Nov 8, 2012

    Why is Guantanamo bay still open? I thought the whole reason was because terrorist could not be properly tried in our Criminal courts?

    I blame Barry Hussein, he said he would close it an didn't. But I was too busy enjoying all my freebies and holding Romney to his words rather than holding Barry to his.

  • WageSlave Nov 8, 2012

    O blessed religion of peace!
    Corporal Snark

    Every religion or group of people has extremist. I mean, Christians blowing up Abortion clinics?

  • WageSlave Nov 8, 2012

    NEWS FLASH!!! The U.S. budget will not be able to fund the prisons for the next 45 years. You may rot in jail now wondering when the food will run out.

    With no pay I doubt prison guards are their, without prison guards....