Local News

Terrorism suspects held without bond, moved to Virginia

Posted August 5, 2009
Updated August 6, 2009

— Six men accused of terrorist activities were moved late Wednesday from the Wake County Jail to the Piedmont Regional Jail in Farmville, Va., according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Earlier in the day, a federal magistrate ordered the suspects be held without bond while awaiting trial.

After listening to more than a day of testimony by an FBI agent and secret tape recordings of statements by the Johnston County man who authorities said was the operation's ringleader, U.S. Magistrate William Webb determined that all six men pose a flight risk and a danger to the community if released.

Courtroom sketch of Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, Dylan Boyd and Anes Subasic Terror suspects deemed flight, security risks

Seven men – Daniel Patrick Boyd, 39, and his sons, Dylan Boyd, 22, and Zakariya "Zak" Boyd, 20; Hysen Sherifi, 24; Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22; Ziyad Yaghi, 21; and Anes Subasic, 33 – were arrested and charged last week with plotting to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people overseas.

Subasic's hearing was postponed Wednesday because his court-appointed attorney and Yugoslavian interpreter asked to be removed from the case. His attorney blamed existing court obligations and personal matters, while the interpreter cited a conflict of interest since she had previously worked with the Subasic family.

An eighth suspect, Jude Kenan Mohammad, 20, of Wake County, is believed to be in Pakistan. Prosecutors say they hope to have him in custody soon.

Attorneys for several defendants argued Wednesday that most of the evidence presented by prosecutors and federal agents implicated Daniel Boyd and not their clients and that no specific targets were mentioned in the evidence.

"In listening to the evidence that was presented by the government, it was 90 percent or more that had to do with the Boyds or the other co-defendants and not much to do with Omar," Karl Knudsen, an attorney hired by Hassan's family, said after the hearing.

Defense attorneys also noted that the men's passports have been confiscated, so they cannot flee the country. Sherifi's attorney said the only reason he planned to travel to Kosovo last month was to visit his pregnant wife.

Also, Hassan's and Subasic's fathers said they would take custody of their sons if they were released, and Sherifi's second-cousin did likewise.

Yet Webb ruled that each of the defendants had contacts overseas and access to cash and could easily leave the country if released from custody.

Prosecutors maintained that the defendants pose a danger to the community if released. They called Daniel Boyd "an extremist" and said Subasic ordered books and supplies for sniper training and that Hassan and Yaghi had been arrested together twice on assault charges.

Webb questioned evidence the FBI gathered from unidentified informants, saying the prosecution was asking him to take the statements as fact when he had no way to judge the informants' truthfulness. Despite that, he said that all of the evidence presented convinced him that the defendants are security risks.

At least one defense attorney planned to appeal the ruling.

Families, supports left disappointed

Dozens of people gathered at the courthouse during the two-day hearing to support the accused men, saying government charges against them are unfounded.

They quietly filed out after Webb's ruling, having heard tape recordings and other evidence to support the terrorism allegations.

"It's not unexpected, but at the same time, knowing it and hearing it is a little bit (jarring)," said Khalilah Sabra, state director for the Muslim American Society. "There's emotion involved. You always have that little hope, but I think (the families) were prepared."

Omar Hassan's father outside court Families, supports left disappointed

Sabra called the denial of bond "part of the process."

"I don't think anyone should interpret (the decision) as anything other than what it is," she said. "He has to make a decision based on all of the factors, and the decision he comes to is one we have to abide by and respect."

Still, families were disappointed, said Hassan's father, Aly Hassan. None of the defendants has been allowed to see family or friends in jail since their July 27 arrests, and during the hearing, about 30 people stood up in support of the younger Hassan's release.

"I just want to thank the community for their support. We all love our families – each one of us loves our family members and we love each other – and we're just trying to be patient at this time," Sabrina Boyd, the wife of Daniel Boyd and mother of Dylan and Zak Boyd, said as she left the courthouse.

Kieran Shanahan, a Raleigh lawyer and former federal prosecutor, said Webb was wise to focus on the conspiracy aspect of the charges and not get bogged down in the allegations of jihad.

"Maybe some of the individual activity in isolation wouldn't have supported (no bond), but given the context of it all, I think he had very little trouble reaching his conclusions," Shanahan said.

Evidence includes tapes, photos

On Tuesday, FBI Special Agent Mike Sutton testified that Daniel Boyd told a federal informant that he would bring jihad to the U.S. if he was unsuccessful overseas.

Prosecutors played scratchy tape recordings in court in which Daniel Boyd talks to family members and others about waging  a holy war on non-Muslims. He said he wanted to retake land in Algeria and collect "stolen wealth," according to the recordings.

"Allah knows I love jihad," he is heard saying in one recording.

Boyd also talked in the taped conversations about training with armor-piercing weapons, traveling overseas and robbing banks and armored cars.

Kieran Shanahan, Raleigh lawyer and former federal prosecutor Ex-prosecutor: Evidence supports denying bond

According to the 14-page indictment, some of the men took trips over the past three years to Jordan, Kosovo, Pakistan and Israel "to engage in violent jihad."

"I should rejoice at the opportunity to punish the kafir," Sutton said Boyd told an informant. "Kafir" is an Arabic word commonly translated as "unbeliever," or someone who is not a follower of Islam.

The FBI agent also said Daniel Boyd and his sons failed in 2007 to meet up with Yaghi and Hassan in Israel to carry out their jihad. Subasic and Sherifi were trying to help Daniel Boyd develop new plans, the agent said.

A search of the Boyds' home in Willow Spring and Daniel Boyd's truck turned up 27,443 rounds of ammunition, Sutton said. A backpack in the truck contained a vest with numerous 30-round magazines.

Photos presented during the hearing showed fortress-like elements at the home, including a bunker on the back deck, a lookout stand in a tree, a cabinet near the front door filled with weapons, gas masks and a trench under the deck that a witness told authorities was designed to conceal weapons.

Shanahan said such evidence will weigh heavily against the men at trial, noting that it will be hard for them "to explain why they have AK-47s and armor-piercing bullets to hunt with."

Agents also found $13,000 in cash at the Boyds' home, and Dylan Boyd had a deposit slip for $16,000 that was dated July 21, Sutton said. Sherifi had $10,000 in cash as well, he said.

One of the allegations against the men was that they were raising money to fund terrorist activities.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Mommy1st Aug 6, 2009

    @You have got to be kidding me, I also want to clarify, that I do not believe you are a hateful person. Just wanted to make the point that not everyone can think for themselves and many are ignorant, and I just wanted us to be careful with our words to a degree, not to edit or change your opinion- but to just keep in mind that ignorant people can take your words the wrong way or out of context and misjudge you as a hateful person or go back and say that they saw someone talking about the evils of Islam, and will spread it, everytime taking it and reshaping the context. You seem very nice, and very intelligent and I appreciate and have taken in all that you've said. Can't say that I'm running to switch religions because it works for me right now. lol. But I know that everything happens as it is meant to so if God (Allah) means for me to be of another religion, it will happen. In the meantime I want to continue to spread peace and insight when possible, whether I'm muslim or not :)

  • Mommy1st Aug 6, 2009

    @You have got to be kidding me, I understand that. And all I was saying to you is that type of behavior is not right. Those people abuse the Quran. Mohammad was not perfect, he was given his tests and trials too, and whatever he may have done wrong was judged by God after his death. I just wanted to express that there should be, and there is effort for, a sort of reform if you would like to call it that. Especially by young muslims adults to help get rid of any type of hate or negativity that may be present in the muslim community. So I understand and appreciate that you do know that there is a difference between the bad and the good, that was the point that I wanted to make. People can easily misread and abuse the Quran and be ignorant in practicing it, and that's not what we condone. Sadly it happens. But we (muslims) have to continue to use the teachings properly and condemn violence publically. We want to fix this hate, but we can't, people will hate us anyway. It's reality.

  • itsmyownopinion Aug 6, 2009

    Surprise! Some of the neighbors are withdrawing their support for the Boyds, shocked by the evidence. Well, DUH!

  • You have got to be kidding me Aug 6, 2009

    lf, as i posted yesterday, I have no doubt that you and many other Muslims are peace loving, good people. It's just that the Koran and Mohammed do command violent jihad and therefore the bombings are not surprising. I know you are not trying to convert me, nor I you, but your religion does compel some pretty awful actions by true converts. Thank God (no pun intended) that the same cannot be said about Jesus' teaching.

  • Mommy1st Aug 6, 2009

    and excuse the typos, son's in one hand and I'm typing with the other. lol.

  • Mommy1st Aug 6, 2009

    @you have got to be kidding me, from an islamic standpoint, God meant for everyone to be different, and just as with sinners and saints, not everyone will follow Islam, this was known long ago and mentioned in the Quran that the world will be made of different people of different religions. Point blank, judgements of who is right or wrong will in the end be left up to God. I suggest if you have more questions that you don't "research" the Quran on the internet, read the actual Quran, the whole thing. If you still have questions I will be glad to answer. This is what we tell any nonmuslim to do, for understanding and tolerance, not to convert. It's easy to find "Quran quotations", but most found on the net aren't accurate. People are individuals, and feel as you may, but many individuals are reading the Quran and practicing as it was meant to be, and are moderate like me. If I don't condone radicals, why argue when I am practicing and teaching Islam correctly? I am doing a good thing.

  • Mommy1st Aug 6, 2009

    @You have got to be kidding me, simply because the Quran says that just because someone is a disbeliever it does not give yiu right to confront or harm them, only if apprached in that same way and yiu are being forced to fight. Otherwise you are acting as a disbeliever and will be punished on judgement day. I really don't know what else to say to you, I just hope you understand that in trying to relentlessly prove us to be no good, you are helping to spread hate and ignorance, and thank goodness no muslim (hopefully) would read your arguments and say, "he has a point, why not be violent since others are doing it?". Opinions are one thing, but trying to convince even a muslim that we are not capable of being compassionate people is puzzling to me. I accept yoiur opinions because you are free to them, but I am not trying to tell you who you are as if you don't already know. We don't force anyone to convert here, and disbelievers are just that- we are not here to punish them. Not our job.

  • You have got to be kidding me Aug 6, 2009

    lf, the problem, I think with your reasoning--that is, that US Muslims choose moderation with regard to unbelievers-- is that such moderation is antithetical to the faith. It is as though the dictates of the Koran, being uncomfortable to Muslim Americans, can just be whitewashed or ignored. Let me ask you. Do you believe that all unbelievers must either be converted, subjugated, or killed? If not, why not, from an Islamic theological viewpoint.

  • dogluvr26 Aug 6, 2009

    outside_of_apex, I can't remember where I read it but there was an article that explained they did cash advances off of credit cards in order to get the money, since (if the allegations are true) they wouldn't be re-paying it. Assuming it's all true, it's not too hard to conceive of them having so much cash or access to cash advances, considering there are multiple people involved and each one could have tens of thousands of dollars available in credit limits.

  • believer58 Aug 6, 2009

    Hate passing judgement....but from the pictures of the arsenal(evidence)...these men were preparing for something much more than the opening of dove or deer seasons.
    Have not read any reports of the wildlife wearing body armour in JoCo....or anywhere else in the state...or country....or planet.

    Still would like to know why the wife remains free.
    There is no way she lived in the home with them and did not know what they were all about.
    The arsenal...the bunker...the literature...the cash.