Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Terror allegations against NC man shock neighbors

Daniel Boyd, 39,

Terror allegations against NC man shock neighbors

RALEIGH, N.C. – A North Carolina man described as family-oriented and quick to help neighbors was recruiting and training aspiring terrorists to wage jihad, federal authorities say, accusations that family and neighbors find hard to believe.

Daniel Boyd, 39, spent three years traveling to the Middle East, secretly buying guns, and leading a group of men planning to kidnap, kill and maim people abroad, according to charges in an indictment released Monday. His family's travels caught the attention of authorities in Israel two years ago, when they denied members of his family entry to the country, an Israeli security official told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Neighbors of the family who live in an unassuming lakeside home in a rural area south of Raleigh are having a hard time reconciling the man they know with what prosecutors are alleging. "If he's a terrorist, he's the nicest terrorist I ever met in my life. I don't think he is," said Charles Casale, 46, a neighbor in Willow Spring who recently got pointers on planting vegetables from the Boyd, who worked as a drywall contractor, and his wife.

Boyd was arrested along with six others — including two sons — accused of being the ringleader of the group involved in three years of nefarious international travel, gun buys and military-style training trips. Authorities claim the group, including an eighth suspect believed to be in Pakistan, were gearing up for a "violent jihad," though prosecutors haven't detailed any specific targets or timeframe. If convicted, the men could face life in prison.

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