Local News

Attorneys slog through evidence in terrorism case

Posted April 16, 2010 12:02 p.m. EDT
Updated April 16, 2010 3:28 p.m. EDT

— With less than six months until the scheduled start of the trial for seven area men accused of terrorist activities, defense attorneys said Friday that they are trying to work through the massive amount of evidence in the case.

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.

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.

Defense attorneys said they are reviewing data on 24 computer hard drives, as well as the 29,000 pages and 749 hours of audio and video recordings that prosecutors previously turned over.

Some witnesses will have to be deposed overseas. For example, Doug McCullough, Yaghi's attorney, said he plans to travel to Jordan to obtain one deposition.

Family members and friends of the terrorism suspects crowded the courtroom in Raleigh's federal courthouse during Friday's hearing, and there were plenty of waves, smiles and blown kisses to the suspects, who were handcuffed and shackled.

"Great to see him. He's still alive. Looks good. He's healthy," said Hassan's father, Aly Hassan.

Aly Hassan said he hasn't seen his son since the last court hearing. He said he used to visit him in jail but said such visits are hard.

"We still see him on a monitor. We don't see him physically," he said. "It's a very hard feeling, especially when I know and I'm sure 100 percent that he's innocent."

Dylan Boyd's wife, who was pregnant when he was arrested last summer, brought their infant son to court and held him up for Boyd to see.

"He's seen his baby from behind a glass (in jail). He hasn't been able to have a contact visit," said Khalilah Sabra, state director for the Muslim American Society. "We would appreciate it if the U.S. marshals would arrange for him to have a contact visit with his son. He wasn't able to be at the birth of his son, and he's innocent until proven guilty. He should be able to hold his child. That seems like a basic human right."

Chief U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan has set a Sept. 27 trial date in the case.