Local News

Muslim community rallies after murder plot alleged

Posted January 25, 2012
Updated January 26, 2012

— Dozens of people from the Triangle's Islamic community plan a show of support in Wilmington on Friday when two people have a federal court hearing on charges that they tried to hire someone to kill witnesses in a terrorism trial.

Federal authorities arrested Shkumbin Sherifi and Nevine Aly Elshiekh over the weekend and charged them with conspiracy to commit murder.

Sherifi's brother, Hysen Sherifi, was sentenced two weeks ago to 45 years in prison on terrorism charges. He was among seven area men arrested in 2009 after authorities said they plotted attacks on targets overseas, stockpiled weapons and conducted paramilitary training.

Hysen Sherifi met with his brother and Elshiekh several times in recent weeks at the New Hanover County jail, where he is incarcerated, and arranged to have three witnesses who testified during his trial last fall killed, according to a federal court document.

He demanded that the witnesses be beheaded and that pictures be taken of their corpses to prove they had been killed, the court document states. He also wanted a fellow inmate who he thought had tricked him out of some money to be killed.

Authorities said Shkumbin Sherifi and Elshiekh gave someone $5,000 to kill one person.

Elshiekh, 46, plans to hire high-powered attorney Charles Swift to represent her in the case. Swift is a Navy JAG officer who represented Osama bin Laden's driver in a U.S. Supreme Court case.

She has headed the special education program at Sterling Montessori Academy and Charter School in Morrisville for nine years. She is now on leave from the school.

Triangle terror case graphic People stunned by latest twist in Triangle terror case

A school representative said the faculty was stunned by her arrest. Her neighbors likewise expressed surprise, calling her a nice and caring person.

She lives with her parents on Edgemont Drive in west Raleigh. Her father is a retired professor from North Carolina State University's College of Textiles.

Julia Sherifi posted on Facebook that her brother is innocent, and she asked people to go to Wilmington in a show of support.

A group called Our Ummah, One Body has signed up more than 80 people for the trip.

"Allegations are not facts. Facts are not known yet. As a community, we have known good from both (Shkumbin Sherifi and Elshiekh)," Mahen Khan, a representative of the group, said in a statement. "We remind the Muslim and non-Muslim community members that, according to the law, both are presumed innocent until proven guilty."

Khalilah Sabra, director of the Muslim American Society Immigration Justice Center, said said the community wants to see what evidence the government has against the pair, especially Elshiekh.

"I think they want to know what's going on, and they believe that somehow a mistake has occurred, that Nevine could not have been involved in something so treacherous," Sabra said. "They want to understand what's going on and do whatever they can to make sure that justice is done."

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  • Scubagirl Feb 3, 10:27 a.m.

    "The Muslim community is going to Rally around these people?? Really?? ... & they wonder why they have an image problem & they're not trusted.

    drhoades5"

    EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dejavu2u Feb 3, 9:30 a.m.

    I hope Homeland Security & JTTF will be there to monitor and record those who "rally" in support of these terrorists. We need more arrests!

  • drhoades5 Feb 3, 8:25 a.m.

    The Muslim community is going to Rally around these people?? Really?? ... & they wonder why they have an image problem & they're not trusted.

  • news4u Jan 27, 4:33 p.m.

    Why don't Muslims rally to denounce murder? If Muslims don't like the American 'infidels' don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

  • cantstandya Jan 27, 10:39 a.m.

    WooHoo2You, "denouncing these AMERICAN terrorist" They are not American terrorist,but loyal Americans trying to maintain the safety and security of our nation,you obviously are not concerned about those things since your lax views on this subject matter and the illegals seems to lean towards an un-American activity,or you just like to get a rise out of people,when you have so much time on your hands that you start googling on some of these stories it's time to look at yourself and ask is this all there is left for me?

  • WooHoo2You Jan 27, 9:22 a.m.

    IN the USA live by our laws not laws of your own world, I hope they stay in jail a long time ,How many more sleeper cells are in the USA-pat7

    Try googling “religious militia groups” and see all the non-muslim wackos we have in our nation. Don’t see any of yall protesting or denouncing these AMERICAN terrorists, but you expect the Muslims to do so….

  • rightisright58 Jan 27, 8:56 a.m.

    fitteryou: Beautifully said and oh so true!

  • pat7 Jan 27, 8:54 a.m.

    IN the USA live by our laws not laws of your own world, I hope they stay in jail a long time ,How many more sleeper cells are in the USA

  • fitteryou Jan 27, 8:24 a.m.

    Muslims join forces and cry out only when one of theirs is caught. At face value they support one another. Where were they to support on Sept.11,2001? THey never condemn or rally against terror, they only rally when one of theirs is caught!

  • news4u Jan 26, 7:49 p.m.

    "Hysen Sherifi met with his brother and Elshiekh several times in recent weeks at the New Hanover County jail, where he is incarcerated, and arranged to have three witnesses who testified during his trial last fall killed.

    He demanded that the witnesses be beheaded and that pictures be taken of their corpses to prove they had been killed, the court document states."

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