RALEIGH, N.C. – Zakariya Boyd, aka “Zak,” pleaded guilty today in federal court in New Bern, N.C., to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, announced Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; George E.B. Holding, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina; M. Chris Briese, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI Charlotte Division; and John F. Khin, Special Agent-in-Charge, Southeast Field Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS).
Boyd, 22, a U.S. citizen and resident of North Carolina, was first charged along with seven other defendants in a federal indictment returned on July 22, 2009. He was arrested on July 29, 2009 and the indictment was unsealed. On Sept. 24, 2009, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment in the case.
According to the superseding indictment, from before November 2006 through at least July 2009, Boyd conspired with the other named defendants and others to provide material support and resources to terrorists, including currency, training, transportation and personnel. The object of the conspiracy, according to the indictment, was to advance violent jihad, including supporting and participating in terrorist activities abroad and committing acts of murder, kidnapping or maiming persons abroad.
The indictment alleges that, as part of the conspiracy, Boyd and other defendants prepared themselves to engage in violent jihad and were willing to die as martyrs. They also allegedly offered training in weapons and financing, and helped arrange overseas travel and contacts so others could wage violent jihad overseas. In addition, as part of the conspiracy, the defendants raised money to support training efforts, disguised the destination of such monies from the donors, and obtained assault weapons to develop skills with the weapons. Some defendants also allegedly radicalized others to believe that violent jihad was a personal religious obligation.
“With his plea today, Zakariya Boyd will be held accountable for his role in this conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism. This case is yet another example of an individual who joined the terrorist cause from within our borders and underscores the dedication of prosecutors, analysts and agents at all levels of our government who work tirelessly to identify such individuals and bring them to justice,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Hinnen.
U.S. Attorney Holding said, “Today, Mr. Boyd stepped into an American courtroom and was afforded the rights and privileges of a system of which he would have destroyed. His decision to plead guilty sets him on a different path -- a path consistent with the rights and safety of the citizens of the United States, both at home and abroad.”
“This case shows extremists in this country are just as willing to do us harm as those overseas. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will keep seeking out and stopping anyone who plans to attack the United States,” said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Briese.
“The Defense Criminal Investigative Service continues to partner with the Raleigh FBI JTTF to bring these home grown terrorists to justice,” said DCIS Special Agent-in-Charge Khin. “In concert with other law enforcement partners, DCIS protects America’s national security interests by aggressively investigating threats to the safety and security of Department of Defense personnel and facilities.”
At sentencing, Boyd faces a potential 15 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
Boyd’s father and co-defendant, Daniel Patrick Boyd, pleaded guilty on Feb. 9, 2011, to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to murder kidnap, maim and injure persons in a foreign country. Trial for the remaining co-defendants in custody is scheduled for September 2011.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI Raleigh-Durham Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the FBI, the DCIS, the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, the Raleigh Police Department, the Durham Police Department and the North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Bowler and Barbara D. Kocher of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and Trial Attorney Jason Kellhofer of the Counterterrorism Section in the Justice Department’s National Security Division.