Terror suspect enters guilty plea in NC case

June 7, 2011 - 5:58 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man who was accused of supporting jihad along with his father and brother pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of conspiring to aid a terrorist conspiracy abroad.

Zakariya "Zak" Boyd, 22, pleaded to a single count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Boyd faces up to 15 years in prison.

Boyd's father, Daniel, pleaded guilty in February. Daniel Boyd was described by prosecutors as the ringleader of a conspiracy aimed at supporting and participating in violent actions abroad on behalf of a radical jihadist political agenda. The indictment alleged the men raised money to buy assault weapons and conduct training exercises, and that they arranged overseas travel and contacts to help others carry out violent acts.

"This case shows extremists in this country are just as willing to do us harm as those overseas," FBI Special-Agent-in-Charge Chris Briese said in a statement.

The half-dozen other defendants remaining in the case, including Zakariya Boyd's brother, Dylan, are scheduled to go on trial in September.

Daniel Boyd grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and converted to Islam as a teenager. He was a drywall contractor living in an unassuming home south of Raleigh when he was indicted in July 2009 along with the other men, including his sons.

During a court hearing in 2009, federal investigators played a recording of Daniel Boyd describing his disgust with the U.S. military and the honor of violent martyrdom.

"I love jihad," he said in the recording. "I love to stand there and fight for the sake of Allah."

The FBI has said agents seized some two dozen guns and more than 27,000 rounds of ammunition from Daniel Boyd's home. Authorities have previously said the men went on training expeditions in the weeks leading up to their arrest, practicing military tactics with armor-piercing bullets on a property in rural North Carolina.

The arrests shocked family members, neighbors and some members of the Triangle-area Muslim community. Boyd's wife, Sabrina, has denied that her husband or sons were involved in any terrorist activity.