NORTH CAROLINA: ‘Blondie Jihadi’ brothers sentenced for role in homegrown terror plot

Two brothers from a family of converts to Islam have been sentenced to federal prison time for helping their father plan to carry out terrorist attacks against U.S. military and other targets.

Triad News14  (H/T TG) Earlier this year, both Dylan and Zakariya Boyd pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to a plot to attack the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va. Each was facing the possibility of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine but U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan showed some leniency in the sentencing.

She acknowledged the powerful influence that Daniel Boyd exerted over his sons saying, “The depravity of your father is etched into the record.” Zak Boyd was sentenced first and given nine years in prison and a $3,000 fine. The U.S. government had asked for some leniency in his sentencing. “But for his father’s ideology that was shoved down his throat, he would never be before this court,” Attorney John Bowler said.

Dylan Boyd was sentenced next and given a prison term of eight years and a $1,000 fine. He was given a lesser punishment than his brother because, as the judge acknowledged, he had tried to stand up to his father and also because he has a young child to provide for. Both will receive credit for time served, which is more than two years, and both could be released early with good behavior.

Their father, Daniel Boyd, is accused of leading a group of eight men who were preparing Jihadist attacks against American military targets. He was originally set to be sentenced with his sons but a court decided to wait until the trial of another suspect, Anes Subasic.

In October, a jury found three more of the Muslim jihadists in this Triangle Terror group guilty of conspiring to aid terrorist activities overseas.

WRAL  Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 23, Ziyad Yaghi, 22, and Hysen Sherifi, 26, were among seven area men arrested in July 2009 on charges that they raised money to buy assault weapons and conduct training exercises. They also were accused of arranging overseas travel and contacts to help others carry out violent acts on behalf of a radical jihadist political agenda.

Jurors deliberated for about 10 hours over two days before finding all three guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Yaghi and Sherifi also were convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people, but the jury acquitted Hassan on that charge.

Sherifi also was found guilty of two weapons counts and a charge of conspiracy to kill federal employees for a plot to attack the Marine base in Quantico, Va.

Relatives of the three men wept and expressed disbelief as they left the federal courthouse in New Bern. “The truth will come. It’s a long nightmare. It’s not over,” said Hassan’s father, Aly Hassan. “Omar is innocent, and with the appeal, I’m sure he’s going to come out.” Sherifi and Yaghi face up to life in prison when they are sentenced later, while Hassan faces up to 15 years in prison.

A seventh defendant, Anes Subasic, will have a separate trial after deciding to represent himself in court. Authorities believe another man charged in the case, Jude Kenan Mohammad, 22, is in Pakistan. A ninth member of the group, Bajram Asllani, 30, was arrested in Kosovo last year, but the U.S. doesn’t have an extradition treaty with that country.