Local News

Unclassified evidence thorny issue in terror case

Posted October 7, 2009 4:39 p.m. EDT

— Prosecutors and defense attorneys are having a difficult time hashing out how to handle sensitive, unclassified material in the case of seven Triangle-area men accused of plotting terrorist acts.

Daniel Patrick Boyd, 39, his sons, Dylan Boyd, 22, and Zakariya "Zak" Boyd, 20, and four other men – Hysen Sherifi, 24, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22, Ziyad Yaghi, 21, and Anes Subasic, 33 – were indicted in July 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.

Daniel Boyd and Sherifi also are charged with planning an attack on the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va.

Chief U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan has given prosecutors until Dec. 17 to declassify documents and other evidence they plan to use in the case so that defense attorneys can begin reviewing it and preparing their case.

Yet, prosecutors and defense attorneys are haggling over information that isn't classified for national security reasons but is still considered sensitive.

Before the case goes to trial, prosecutors want to know with whom the defense will share sensitive information. Defense attorneys say that interferes with their planning and strategy.

Flanagan asked both sides Tuesday to make a case before deciding how to protect sensitive documents.