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Terror trial likely not to start before late 2010

Posted August 26, 2009
Updated August 27, 2009

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— The complexity of the case against eight men charged with plotting terrorist acts overseas could delay the start of any trials in the case until at least next fall, officials said Thursday.

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys met with U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan Thursday to hash out how information the government deems classified for national security would be handled in the case.

Triangle Terror Arrests Evidence in terrorism case needs to be declassified

Daniel Patrick Boyd, 39, and his sons, Dylan Boyd, 22, and Zakariya "Zak" Boyd, 20, and four other men – Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22, Hysen Sherifi, 24, Ziyad Yaghi, 21, and Anes Subasic, 33 – have been indicted on charges that they plotted to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people overseas. They are being held without bond at a prison in Virginia.

An eighth suspect, Jude Kenan Mohammad, 20, is believed to be in Pakistan.

Authorities claim the group was preparing to wage "violent jihad" but haven't detailed any specific targets or time frame. Prosecutors cited trips members of the group made overseas in recent years, weapons purchases, fundraising efforts and military-style training conducted in the woods of Caswell County.

Prosecutors already have turned over 2,400 pages of evidence and 60 tape recordings, some of which are more than an hour long, to defense attorneys. But defense attorneys said they cannot begin to prepare for trial until they can see what classified information the government plans to use against their clients.

Flanagan gave prosecutors until Dec. 17 to declassify the documents they intended to use as evidence so defense attorneys could review them. She said she would hold a February hearing to begin scheduling motions, meaning any trial likely wouldn't be scheduled before the fall of next year.

"I think both sides are fairly pleased that the judge has recognized this is a very complex case. It has unique logistics requirements," said attorney Doug McCullough, who represents Yaghi.

Prosecutors said the declassified information would still be considered "sensitive," and rules would need to be set up to restrict access to it.

All attorneys in the case have already undergone FBI background checks, but defense attorneys said such rules might make it harder for them to have outside witnesses, including any expert witnesses, to address the information contained in the documents.

"What we're working toward (is) trying to get all the parties to agree how to go through the protocol," said attorney Dan Boyce, who represents Hassan. "The process is under way. It's going to be a long haul, but hopefully justice will be served at the end of the day."

Boyce said the unclassified evidence against Hassan is scant, noting prosecutors have only noted he went to Israel in 2007. There are no recordings of conversations between Hassan and Daniel Boyd, the alleged ringleader, or large sums of money that are directly attributable to Hassan, and Hassan doesn't have any weapons training, Boyce said.

Hassan, a Cary High School graduate and former North Carolina State University student, isn't a flight risk or a danger to the community, said Boyce, who has filed a motion to have him released on house arrest.

Dylan Boyd's attorney also has filed a motion that he be released on house arrest, noting his wife is close to delivering their first child.

20 Comments

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  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 27, 2009

    And it was Ben Franklin. I'm a big fan of that quote, and agree. But it doesn't apply in this case.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 27, 2009

    "TBK, I am not living in any fantasy land. The problem is the secrecy behind all of this. The government is tellins us to be cute little sheep, that they are here to take care of us. Our trials are supposed to be open to the public. I am sorry, but I am not willing to trade any of my freedoms for any bit of security."

    What freedom are you giving up? How is this costing you ANY of your freedom? Answer: It isn't.

    We have freedom of speech, too. But you can't yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater.

    There are reasonable, acceptable limits to our rights. You're complaining about nothing. We also have a right to national security, and if divulging certain information is deemed to result in less national security, then it can JUSTIFIABLY be kept under wraps in this court.

    I'm all for what you're saying, but there are minor, reasonable exceptions to every rule. Your little rant and that quote doesn't apply in EVERY case, including this one. Sorry, it just doesn't.

  • ebbtideflowing Aug 27, 2009

    ebbtide wrote on August, 27 3:50 PM:

    The suspects --still suspects -- are incarcerated in solitary confinement: no sun, no windows, etc, and only VERY few visitors for pitiful few minutes per week. I guess they will stay like this for years, and its not called torture??
    Madoff - convicted for swindling over a billion - is in a country club of a so called prison.
    Daniel Boyd was a teenager when he was in Afghanistan, a valiant soul who sacrificed himself in the US backed proxy war against the evil empire of communism.
    And yet now the FBI calls those 1980’s and 90’s camps as “terrorist camps".
    Hmmm,,, that makes Mr. Boyd a patriot in those days, and the "training camps" accusation BOGUS!
    See an interesting comparison between him and Erik Prince : http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A399355 >supportdanielboyd > wordpress> com >supportboyd> blogspot> com

    Read history. Know the full story.

  • chfdcpt Aug 27, 2009

    TBK, I am not living in any fantasy land. The problem is the secrecy behind all of this. The government is tellins us to be cute little sheep, that they are here to take care of us. Our trials are supposed to be open to the public. I am sorry, but I am not willing to trade any of my freedoms for any bit of security.

    Which of our founding fathers said that anyone that is willing to give up liberty for security deserves neither?

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 27, 2009

    "dwf, I am with you. How can they get a fair trial while the prosecution will not allow the evidence that led to the charges be reviewed by the lawyers?"

    Are you guys living in fantasyland or what? This isn't what is happening. They ARE reviewing the classified evidence. We (you, me, dwarf, and most everyone else reading this) are NOT allowed to see this evidence. But everyone involved in this case (the only ones that matter) ARE.

    So no problem then, right?

  • chfdcpt Aug 27, 2009

    dwf, I am with you. How can they get a fair trial while the prosecution will not allow the evidence that led to the charges be reviewed by the lawyers?

    During the Clinton years, a man by the name of Wen Ho Lee was arrested in secrecy under the espionage laws. He was not allowed to seek council, was not allowed to contact anyone; not even his wife. He was not even allowed to know where he was being detained. He was not allowed to know what the charges against him were due to "classified" information.

    A few years ago in Durham, a man by the name of Nifong decided to hide evidence that proved the accused were inocent.

    And before someone accuses me of being from a cult, I have sworn to protect and defend the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic".

    Too bad that our worst enemy is at home, consistently tearing our Constitution under the "security" banner.

    Remember, that the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.

  • ranquick Aug 27, 2009

    I have to go thru 6 months of background checks for a Secret clearence in the Navy what about these guys. They shoul dnot be allowed to see this material if not certified to do so!!!!!

  • ranquick Aug 27, 2009

    The Plot deepens, are these lawyers give back ground checks to see this materials.

  • Tarheelfan13 Aug 27, 2009

    A society may be free but that never takes away from the need to protect sensitive classified information. While it is true that a defendent deserves full access to the evidence concerning the charges- the fact is that in national security issues the government also has an obligation to protect information that if compromised would affect all the citizens of this country in a negative way. Basically the government has a vested interest to protect the best interests of this great nation of ours.

  • MatrixEscapee Aug 27, 2009

    dwf1205

    Its nice to see another REAL patriot with his/her eyes wide open and thinking for themselves. Baaaaaaaaaa Baaaaaaaaaa to the SHEEPle... They will never wake up until they first learn to turn off the controlled media, and research for themselves. BUT, thats too much work.

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