Local News

Report: Human rights abuses occurred in Triangle terrorism case

Posted July 21
Updated July 22

— A Triangle terrorism case was cited as an example of “abusive counterterrorism sting operations” in a study released Monday claiming human rights abuses in such investigations.

The Human Rights Watch report, “Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in U.S. Terrorism Prosecutions,” mentioned the “Raleigh 7” as one of 27 federal terrorism cases highlighted in the study.

Daniel Boyd and six others were arrested in 2009 on charges of arranging overseas travel and contacts to help jihadists carry out terrorist acts. About 20 guns and more than 27,000 rounds of ammunition were found in Boyd’s Johnston County home.

Boyd, who authorities said organized the group, pleaded guilty to conspiracy. He and the other six arrested are serving prison time on terrorism charges.

The report focuses on two men in the group - Ziyad Yaghi and Omar Hassan - and a 2007 trip they took to the Middle East. Boyd established himself "as a leader among Muslim youth in Raleigh" and the men wanted to know if they could join him on a trip to the region, according to the report.

But Human Rights Watch claims the men were separated, and Boyd never talked with Yaghi and Hassan while overseas. Yaghi and Hassan were vacationing on a beach in Egypt, using their real names and purchasing roundtrip tickets for the trip, according to the group.

The organization also said a FBI agent acknowledged that the government never found evidence of the men engaging in terrorist activities during the 2007 trip.

A jury convicted both men of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in 2011. Yaghi was also convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people, but the jury acquitted Hassan on that charge.

A federal appeals court upheld their convictions.

Republican 13th District Congressman George Holding, the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case, said Tuesday in a statement that he's confident that the FBI investigation didn't compromise anyone's rights.

"While I believe the work done by organizations to help protect the rights of citizens is critically important, I am confident in the FBI’s ability to combat terrorism at home and abroad," Holding said. "The Fourth Circuit’s unanimous opinion affirmed, on this occasion, we will not be left to second-guess how a terrorist attack could have been prevented.”

24 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • Thought Criminal WS Jul 23, 10:55 a.m.

    Stop publishing this PRO-TERRRORIST crud. Your own archives have articles talking about the beheading plots, convictions in bank robberies, and being detained overseas for terrorist activities.

    Stop the lies.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jul 22, 3:56 p.m.

    why is this news? I could care less about their human rights, when these terrorists were... View More

    — Posted by McLovin

    That is a very concerning and dangerous statement to make. I'm not by any means convinced from this article that these terrorists' human rights were abused however if they were I'd be very concerned. Our Constitutional rights are very important and we must be vigilant to to make sure our government isn't violating anybody's because if they are able to your next. Never let anyone say we can no longer afford personal freedoms and human rights in this modern world.

  • McLovin Jul 22, 3:30 p.m.

    why is this news? I could care less about their human rights, when these terrorists were plotting to destroy my human rights...

  • matt_wood Jul 22, 2:58 p.m.

    A little indefinite detention might set these Human Rights terrorist sympathizers straight.

    — Posted by Super Hans

    Detention by whom? Certainly not by the evil police who carry guns. Certainly not by the... View More

    — Posted by disgusted2010

    I'm pretty sure Hans was being sarcastic...

  • Super Hans Jul 22, 2:44 p.m.

    Then don't come over here.

    — Posted by tatermommy52

    Right on! Not even if you were born here!

  • tatermommy52 Jul 22, 2:05 p.m.

    Then don't come over here.

  • disgusted2010 Jul 22, 2:02 p.m.

    A little indefinite detention might set these Human Rights terrorist sympathizers straight.

    — Posted by Super Hans

    Detention by whom? Certainly not by the evil police who carry guns. Certainly not by the federal government you rail against daily. Certainly not by the evil immigration people you despise.

    It amazes me how you can call for the US to open our arms to every illegal immigrant that steals into the country and in the same breath want to restrain terrorists, many of whom are EXACTLY the same.

  • katzlover Jul 22, 1:57 p.m.

    terrorists have no rights as far as im concerned.. lock 'em up in gitmo and forget about them

  • Super Hans Jul 22, 1:46 p.m.

    A little indefinite detention might set these Human Rights terrorist sympathizers straight.

  • Super Hans Jul 22, 1:43 p.m.

    i know of 3,000 people in NYC, DC and PA that had their human rights violated. i guess human... View More

    — Posted by ohbumr

    Right On!

    9/11 NEVER FORGET!

    USA! USA! USA!

More...