Local News

Acquaintance claims he warned Islamic Center of terrorism suspects

Posted August 2, 2009 6:38 p.m. EDT
Updated August 3, 2009 9:36 a.m. EDT

— Humza Ismail, who lived in Raleigh for a brief period of time, claimed during a recent interview with CNN that he warned the Islamic Center of Raleigh about two Triangle men facing terrorism charges.

During the interview, Ismail said he worshiped at the same mosque as the suspects, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22, and Ziyad Yaghi, 21. In group discussions, the men talked about suicide bombing, Ismail said.

"When it came to something like suicide bombing, they would say, 'If it's a benefit for the Muslims, then something like that can be permissible,'" Ismail told CNN.

"I could tell it was something they wanted to do,” he added. "They never indicated or said, 'We are going to make jihad overseas.'"

Hassan and Yaghi were among eight people with Triangle ties indicted on Monday on charges they plotted a series of terrorist attacks overseas and secured weapons and trained in North Carolina.

Ismail said he disagreed with views expressed by Hassan and Yaghi and raised concerns to officials at the Islamic Center of Raleigh. He said his concerns were overlooked by center officials.

“Those were his personal opinions,” Imran Aukhil, of the center at 3020 Ligon St., said Sunday in response to Ismail's claims.

Aukhil said he could not speak of any complaints against Hassan or Yaghi. However, he did confirm that several years ago the center filed a complaint against a person at the mosque with the FBI.

He said the center's officials believe that they have an obligation to report significant threats of violence.

"Rogue comments that are made by individuals are handled on a case-by-case basis. We handle every case, every violent crime or every threat as necessary,” Aukhil said.

The other men charged in the case are Daniel Patrick Boyd, 39, and his two sons, Dylan Boyd, 22, and Zakariya "Zak" Boyd, 20; along with Hysen Sherifi, 24, and Anes Subasic, 33. A WRAL News source has identified the remaining suspect as 20-year-old Jude Kenan Mohammad, of Wake County.

A Willow Spring man who lived across the street from Daniel Patrick Boyd said Sunday he was stunned by the arrests.

"This man doesn't even own a television. He is appalled by violence. Every chance he gets, he talks to the youth about trying to steer away from violence," said Jerry Kuhn, Boyd's neighbor.

Kuhn said he and Boyd were close – so close that Boyd had a key to his house.

Another Boyd neighbor has put a sign up in his yard that reads, "We Support the Boyds."

All the defendants are expected to appear Tuesday in federal court for detention hearings. Subasic will be accompanied with a court-appointed interpreter.