Local News

Terror suspect: 'We were just blowing smoke'

Posted October 6, 2011 5:15 p.m. EDT
Updated October 7, 2011 5:54 a.m. EDT

— The son of the suspected ringleader of a local terror cell told jurors on Thursday that he never made nor heard of any agreement between any of the defendants to murder, kidnap or maim anyone.

Dylan "Mohammed" Boyd, 24, pleaded guilty last month to aiding and abetting a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. He will be sentenced later and faces up to 15 years in prison.

His father, the accused leader of the terrorist cell, Daniel Patrick Boyd, 41, pleaded guilty in February to charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons in a foreign country.

Dylan Boyd's brother, Zakariya Boyd, 22, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Dylan Boyd’s testimony came in the trial of three other men accused of taking part in a the terrorist cell led by Daniel Boyd.

Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 23, Ziyad Yaghi, 22, and Hysen Sherifi, 26, face multiple felony charges related to allegations they conspired to attack targets overseas. Sherifi also is accused of plotting an attack on the Marine base in Quantico, Va.

Dylan Boyd also testified that he never heard of an agreement to attack a U.S. military base in this country or overseas.Dylan Boyd described his father as a man with extremist views who threatened and put pressure on his children to share his values.

Boyd also testified that he felt Sherifi was "more inclined to engage in acts of violent jihad." Boyd said that because he, in a way, acted as a liaison between Sherifi and Daniel Boyd, it could have been seen as a conspiracy and therefore pleaded guilty.

On cross examination, Boyd said the men often spoke about religion, ideology and what good Muslims should do. He admitted jihad was sometimes discussed but there were never specific plans to act on it. He said there were just lots of "rhetoric, blowing smoke and efforts to impress each other."

Boyd testified that after the arrest, Hassan and Yaghi kept saying, "They can't prove it. They can't prove it." But, Boyd added, neither of them said, "I didn't do it."