Update on these previous posts.
NEW BERN, N.C., Aug. 15 (UPI) — Five North Carolina men Monday pleaded not guilty to being part of a local terrorism ring that planned jihad overseas.
Two other defendants have pleaded guilty, The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported.
Daniel Patrick Boyd, described as the ringleader of the group, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons in a foreign country. His youngest son, Zakariya Boyd, 22, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Both are awaiting sentencing.
Pleading not guilty in federal court were Dylan Boyd, 23, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 23, Ziyad Yaghi, 22, Hysen Sherifi, 26, and Anes Subasic, 34. They are set to go on trial in New Bern in mid-September on multiple felony charges, the newspaper said.
Sherifi also is charged in an alleged planned attack on the Marine base at Quantico, Va.
Chief U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan ruled earlier Subasic would be tried separately because he plans to represent himself, the newspaper said.
An eighth suspect is believed to be in Pakistan, but has never been arrested, The News & Observer said. A ninth was arrested in Kosovo, but the United States has no extradition agreement with that country.
Attorneys for four Triangle men facing terrorism charges on Tuesday questioned the credibility of a government witness in the case.
Evan Kohlmann has served as a counter-terrorism consultant to numerous governments and corporations and has analyzed several terrorist groups for more than a decade. Dubbed “the Doogie Howser of Terrorism” because he began studying radical groups at age 18, he has testified as an expert witness in about 20 terrorism cases worldwide.
Kohlmann said the Triangle men demonstrated “the classic characteristics of home-grown terrorism and extremism.” He said his conclusions are based on the group’s actions as a whole, not just one person’s acts.
Much of Kohlmann’s analysis in the case, authorities said, is based on FBI interviews with Daniel Patrick Boyd, who authorities say was the leader of the terrorist cell. Boyd 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.
“He’s studied a lot about about Islam, but there’s a difference between studying Muslims and knowing what Muslims are,” said Khalilah Sabra, director of the Triangle chapter of the Muslim American Society.
Chief U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan asked attorneys to file briefs about there concerns, but she signaled that Kohlmann will likely to allowed to testify as an expert with certain restrictions on how much he can cover.
Readers might remember Khalilah Sabra – she is the Muslim convert who was recruited by Osama bin Laden’s mentor to join the mujahideen fighting the Russians. And she went. She even recently called bin Laden a “Visionary.” Her bosses at Muslim Brotherhood-founded MAS then issued a retraction to smooth that over.
When Sabra returned from Pakistan, she was mentored by North Carolina Democrat who became the chairman of Hamas-linked CAIR. She followed that up by becoming a leader for the Muslim Brotherhood founded MAS and by being a spokesperson for the ringleader of this North Carolina jihad plot – who pleaded GUILTY.
News video on the case here.