Daniel Patrick Boyd, a U.S. citizen and resident of North Carolina, has pleaded guilty in a federal court to charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim, and injure persons in a foreign country, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said.
The guilty plea entered on Feb. 9 in a federal court in New Bern, North Carolina, was announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division and George E.B. Holding, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Boyd, 40, was first charged along with seven other defendants in a federal indictment returned on July 22, 2009. He was arrested on July 29, 2009, and the indictment was unsealed. On September 24, 2009, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment that added additional charges against Boyd and two of the other defendants.
According to the superseding indictment, during the period from 1989 through 1992, he traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan where he received military-style training in terrorist training camps for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad. Following this training, according to the Indictment, he fought in Afghanistan.
It was, however, unclear who Boyd fought against. The FBI said Boyd claimed to have gone to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets but Soviet troops left in 1989.
The indictment also stated that from Nov. 2006 through at least July 2009, Boyd, also known as 'Saifullah,' had conspired with the other defendants to provide material support and resources to terrorists, including currency, training, transportation and personnel. The indictment also charged Boyd with undertaking a reconnaissance of the Marine Corps Base located in Quantico, Virginia, and obtaining maps of the base in order to plan an attack on U.S. military personnel in Quantico. It also said Boyd possessed armor piercing ammunition and wanted to use it to attack the Americans.
The defendants also conspired to murder, kidnap, maim, and injure persons abroad during this period. The object of the conspiracy, according to the indictment, was to advance violent jihad, including supporting and participating in terrorist activities abroad and committing acts of murder, kidnapping, or maiming persons abroad, the DOJ said in a statement.
As part of the conspiracy, the defendants prepared themselves to engage in violent jihad and were willing to die as martyrs. They also allegedly offered training in weapons and financing and helped arrange overseas travel and contacts so others could wage violent jihad overseas.
In addition, the defendants raised money to support training efforts, disguised the destination of such monies from the donors, and obtained assault weapons to develop skills with the weapons. Some defendants also allegedly radicalized others to believe that violent jihad was a personal religious obligation.
According to Holding, the case proves that terrorists are no longer only from foreign countries but also citizens who live within our own borders.
We must protect our homeland. I am committed to using any and all legal means to take on the challenge of finding and prosecuting others with similar radical views who plot violent attacks, Holding said.
Prosecutors said they had hundreds of recorded phone calls, e-mails and other evidence if the case had gone to trial. Holding said Boyd was significantly influenced by al-Awlaki, the leader of Yemen-based terror organization and some of Boyd's literature in his home or in his e-mail that discussed the need for holy war had references of al-Awlaki. In one of the audio recordings, a voice that authorities have identified as Boyd says: I love jihad. I love to stand there and fight for the sake of Allah.
Boyd is set to be sentenced in May 2011 and faces up to 15 years' imprisonment followed by up to three years’ supervised release for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and up to a life term of imprisonment followed by up to five years of supervised release for conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim, and injure persons in a foreign country.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI Raleigh-Durham Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, the Raleigh Police Department, and the Durham Police Department, and NCISAAC - the North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
Boyd's neighbors in Willow Spring, just south of Raleig in North Carolina, said they were shocked by Boyd's arrest and subsequent charges as he lived a quiet life - attending local mosques and operating a drywall business.
His plea comes just a week after another American citizen Colleen R. LaRose, 47, also known as 'Jihad Jane,' pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder a Swedish cartoonist, providing material support to terrorists, and other criminal charges.