Homegrown terrorists worry officials

Antiterrorism officials are increasingly concerned about American-bred extremists who travel abroad for terror training and then return home, sometimes quietly recruiting followers over the years.

Federal authorities have issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies around the country on the heels of the arrest Monday in North Carolina of a man whose devotion to the cause of violent jihad allegedly began 20 years ago.

The internal bulletin — reviewed by The Associated Press — says the FBI and the Homeland Security Department are very worried about the danger posed by little-noticed Americans traveling abroad to learn terrorism techniques, then coming back to the United States, where they may be dormant for long periods of time while they look for followers to recruit for future attacks.

On Monday, the FBI arrested Daniel Patrick Boyd, 39, charging he was the ringleader of a group of aspiring international terrorists.

The charges "underscore our ongoing concerns about individuals returning to the United States after training or fighting on behalf of extremists overseas," said Justice Department spokesman Richard Kolko.

"As a general matter, such individuals may be in a unique position to solicit others in the U.S. to follow their example, given their combat experience, their network of overseas contacts and their credibility among young radicals seeking an authority figure," Kolko said.

Six other suspects — including Boyd’s two sons — were also charged in what prosecutors say was a long-running conspiracy to train for violence and then fight overseas.

Boyd’s wife, Sabrina, said in a statement Tuesday that the charges are unsubstantiated.

"We are an ordinary family," she said. "We are decent people who care about other human beings."

The internal terrorism bulletin says Boyd is part of what investigators believe is an unsettling trend of Americans attracted to terrorist groups.

Often, such individuals are what officials call "self-recruiting," using only an Internet connection to plug into a network of like-minded people who help point them toward militant groups.

Just a week ago, federal prosecutors revealed they had in custody an American, Bryant Neal Vinas, who was raised on Long Island, N.Y., converted to Islam and traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to train alongside senior al-Qaida operatives.

And on Monday, a Virginia man was sentenced to life in prison for joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate then-President George W. Bush. Authorities say he joined al-Qaida while attending college in Saudi Arabia.

The police bulletin, issued the evening after Boyd’s arrest in North Carolina, also cites a case of what authorities say were aspiring terrorists in Oregon. In that case, prosecutors won a conviction of a man for trying to set up a terror training camp in 1999 in Bly, Ore.

Boyd and the others arrested Monday are not charged with planning attacks in the United States. Prosecutors say the seven men repeatedly traveled overseas hoping to engage in violence, and trained in military tactics at a private property in North Carolina.

The Boyds lived at an unassuming lakeside home in a rural area south of Raleigh and had a family-operated drywall business.

In 1991, Boyd and his brother were convicted of bank robbery in Pakistan. They were also accused of carrying identification showing they belonged to the radical Afghan guerrilla group, Hezb-e-Islami, or Party of Islam. Each was sentenced to have a foot and a hand cut off for the robbery, but the decision was later overturned.

Their wives told The Associated Press in an interview at the time that the couples had U.S. roots but the United States was a country of "kafirs" — Arabic for heathens.

Sabrina Boyd said in her statement that her husband was in Afghanistan fighting against the Soviet Union "with the full backing of the United States government."


Associated Press writer Mike Baker in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this report.


  1. bryan mcclellan

    Questions, where does Blackwater figure in all this?

    How do bank robbery charges get dropped in a foreign land without state department intervention?

    If Boyd was in Afghanistan with full backing of our government while fighting the Soviets, was he a spook, mercenary, or in the military? And just how old was he at the time?

    He probably has embarrassing info so it’s off to Guantanamo for a little water and electrical recreation.

  2. Doc_Holiday

    This would not be Cheney’s super secret CIA hit team program would it? Just label them all terrorists now, call what info they do give “intelligence”, and have it classified to such a point that no one here and now will be alive when it can be released.

    I better hide my paintball gun and stop shooting my sling shot for sport. They might consider me next.

  3. woody188

    This is why PATRIOT is bad.

    Boyd’s wife, Sabrina, said in a statement Tuesday that the charges are unsubstantiated.

    “We are an ordinary family,” she said. “We are decent people who care about other human beings.”

    As far as we know they might be. What are the charges?

    a long-running conspiracy to train for violence and then fight overseas

    Oh you mean like martial arts and shooting guns?

    My family does those things too. If we go overseas, are we next to be swept up and locked away forever?

    How old are his boys?

    I’m 34 and my boys are 3 and 1. If he had them when he was 18 the oldest would be 21.

    Would like to see evidence and real charges but I bet those are classified for national security reasons.

    Guessing he had proof to expose that al-Qaida is a CIA controlled operation and has been since the Soviets were in Afghanistan.

    Sumthin’ ain’t right…

    R U Main Core?

  4. Carl Nemo

    Thanks Woody188 for your introspective thoughts concerning this situation.

    You are correct in that they can kick anyone’s door and remove them with the same type of “media release”; ie, as so and so being involved in jihad etc. There was no publicly proclaimed jihad against the West 20 years ago. Twenty years ago we were aiding the Mujahadeen’s fight in Afghanistan against the Ruskies by supplying them with weapons and supplies and OBL was our buddy; ie, a CIA asset. So this story definitely doesn’t wash out.

    As you’ve expressed in your comments, this guy possibly knows too much and they are engaging in a very public rendition of the man. Hey if clandestine rendition is now outlawed, then best way to continue such evil methods are in plain view along with an in our face media release…no?!

    We’ll probably never hear about this case again. Of course our newly ensconced “dear leader” will see to it that this isn’t so… /:|

    Carl Nemo **==