National News

Brother defends accused terror head

Posted July 30, 2009
Updated July 31, 2009

— Accusations that a Johnston County man recruited and trained would-be terrorists to wage violent jihad are "preposterous," his older brother said Friday, portraying the charges as an attempt to link Islam to terrorism.

Robert Boyd spoke to The Associated Press and WRAL News from his home in Minnesota and called the situation Daniel Boyd faces "ludicrous." He described his younger brother as an "upstanding young man."

Authorities say Daniel Boyd, 39, bought guns and led a group of men who were planning to kidnap, kill and maim people abroad. The indictment, which names six others including two of Boyd's sons, said some of the defendants took trips to Jordan, Israel and Pakistan.

Federal authorities are looking for an eighth man tied to the group, who is believed to be in Pakistan. A WRAL News source has identified the man as Jude Kenan Mohammad, 20, of Wake County.

Robert Boyd, 49, said he finds the charges against his younger brother "hard for me to even fathom."

"I really don't appreciate his fine name being slandered like that because he's none of what they claim he is," Boyd told WRAL News in a telephone interview.

"He's the finest example of a man that I know," he said. "He's give you anything, help you any way he could – anybody, anywhere, any time."

Robert Boyd's comments echoed those of residents in the Willow Spring community where Daniel Boyd lives with his family. They remembered the drywall contractor as a friendly neighbor who talked about vegetable gardens and fishing. Many expressed shock and doubt about the detailed indictment that accused Boyd of having international terrorist aspirations.

Prosecutors say Boyd stopped attending the services of the more moderate mosques in the Raleigh area and began holding Friday prayers in his home. The indictment says he began stockpiling weapons and conducted military-style training at a rural site in Caswell County, near the Virginia state line.

Boyd traveled to Pakistan two decades ago with his family and brother Charles, where prosecutors say they trained in guerrilla camps and fought the Soviet Union.

Debra Cline, 51, was Charles' wife at the time. She recalled that the brothers would rotate stints in the field, leaving for a week or two at a time to go to Afghanistan or to training. But they never talked about the endeavor.

"The women were pretty much left in the dark," Cline told The Associated Press from her home in Florida. "We were not given much information."

Charles Boyd and Cline met a decade before their time in the Middle East. Charles and Robert Boyd came to Florida with just $14, hoping to make some extra money before going to Pakistan. They were inspired by a video shown at a Washington-area mosque that depicted the Soviets killing Muslim women and children, Cline said.

"That was their main concern," she said. "That's what got them wanting to go over there."

They did not go for several years, but Daniel and Charles Boyd eventually made the trip.

In 1991, Daniel Boyd and his brother Charles were convicted of robbing a bank in Pakistan, where they and their wives were living. A sentence that included amputations of a hand and foot was overturned.

Cline said she didn't want to make the trip to Pakistan but went at her husband's behest. After the brothers were arrested, she wanted to leave and went to the U.S. embassy to make it happen. Cline said that led Daniel and Sabrina Boyd to shun her, and Cline didn't speak to them again after leaving Pakistan.

Her husband wasn't nearly as upset.

"He wasn't as passionate as Daniel," she said. Cline split from Charles Boyd soon after leaving Pakistan and is no longer Muslim.

Both she and Robert Boyd said they didn't know of Charles Boyd's whereabouts.

Cline said she was shocked by the charges, describing Daniel Boyd as "mellow and laid-back."

Robert Boyd, who is Muslim, said he first learned of the charges against his brother while watching television. He also said his brothers didn't discuss what they did in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"They talked about how beautiful it was over there," Robert Boyd said. "They loved it over there."

"As far as I was concerned, he was with the mujahedeen trying to kick ass on the Russians and get them out of Afghanistan, which was backed by the United States," Robert Boyd said.

He said he hasn't talked with Daniel Boyd since his 16-year-old nephew died in a car accident two years ago. He said he hasn't seen two other nephews who also have been charged as terrorists, 22-year-old Dylan Boyd and 20-year-old Zakariyah Boyd, since they were about 9 or 10 years old.

"I would really love to see my brother in person so I could look him in the eye and ask him man to man what's up," he told WRAL News.


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  • Weetie Jul 31, 2009

    Could they possible have the wrong brother?

  • jervin6 Jul 31, 2009

    First off, if I have been out of touch with someone for more than a year, much less a decade, I doubt I know much of anything about that person.

    on the other hand, the wife should be thankful she is still alive to voice her concerns about the charges. The last time the FBI got involved in a case where a guy had "stock piled guns" they shot the wife and the kids.

    Does anybody remember Ruby Ridge Idaho or the Branch Davidians???

  • likemenow Jul 31, 2009

    RE:"The Mossad gave information to the FBI "...i'm sure these fine upstanding citizens are quite happy that they weren't targeted by the Mossad..much less expensive proceedings...

  • ghimmy51 Jul 31, 2009

    WRAL you are being used. What you are spreading here is straight from the terrorist training manual picked up in Afghanistan several years ago. Report the news. Don't try to make it. Also ... I have no bad feeling for anyone who lives their own lives, but I firmly believe based on history and current world events the ONLY reason we aren't seeing Sharia Law here is because Muslims are still in the minority. In practice, with a majority, Islam is intolerant of other religions and lifestyles.

  • likemenow Jul 31, 2009

    As soon as these guys are in prison, the spelling of "poppy cook" will slightly revised to describe their new cellmate, "Papi Cook"(dangum filters)

  • slingblade58 Jul 31, 2009

    The Mossad gave information to the FBI about this family, that's why they were investigated and arrested. As you know, Israel basically runs this country now and has for some time. Before you label me check it out for yourself, beginning with Rahm Emmanuel, who is a citizen of Israel and actually flew back to Israel during the Gulf War, as he was a reserve member of their armed forces.
    At some point, America has to wake up, quit believing everything that the media feeds us, and realize that there are two sides to what is going on in the Middle East.

  • confederateyankee Jul 31, 2009

    "Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land once in their lifetime. Also, Christian groups travel to Israel all the time for vacations and sightseeing..are they terrorists?"

    Muslims are supposed to take the trip (hajj) to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.

    Get your facts straight.

  • apexgal Jul 31, 2009

    Funny how this brother is so sure of the other brother's character, yet hasn't seen his family in 12-13 years (last saw the 22-yr-old nephew when he was 9 or 10...), and hasn't even talked to him in 2 years, since the son's death. How the heck does he know anything about him now??

  • voiceofreason32 Jul 31, 2009

    Amazes me how these guys are charged by the FBI with such circumstantial evidence while the Black Panthers who were videotaped and had eyewitness testimony against them, as well as additional evidence of voter intimidation had the charges against them dropped by the Attorney General by order of the President.
    Guess its ok to blatantly violate the constitution and federal law...but if its just circumstantial evidence the Feds will grill you. Or maybe its something else??

  • voiceofreason32 Jul 31, 2009

    u just dont go to war zone central for a vacation come on now. They were up to no good and there wifes knew it.

    Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land once in their lifetime.
    Also, Christian groups travel to Israel all the time for vacations and sightseeing..are they terrorists?