Suspect in Johnston County terror cell pleads guilty

Staff writerSeptember 14, 2011 

— Dylan Boyd, son of the man accused of being the ringleader of a Triangle group accused of conspiring to wage jihad overseas and in this country, pleaded guilty in federal court today to aiding and abetting the act of conspiracy.

The plea comes less than a week before a trial is set to begin in New Bern for three of the accused.

The 24-year-old son of Daniel Patrick Boyd, the accused ringleader, changed his plea from one he entered almost a month ago in federal court in Raleigh.

Under the plea arrangement, Judge Louise Flanaghan told Dylan Boyd he could get up to 15 years in prison, face a fine of up to $1 million and get three years of probation after his release.

His sentencing hearing is set for December.

Boyd's brother, Zakariya, pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Their father, 41, expected to be a key witness in the government's case against the three on trial next week, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism between Nov. 2006 and July 2009 and conspiracy to "murder, kidnap, maim and injure people in a foreign country."

The Boyds' arrests in 2009 stirred shock and disbelief in the quiet Johnston County community where he and his family lived.

Neighbors described Daniel Patrick Boyd as a devoted Muslim, but an unassuming, friendly drywall contractor.

Federal agents arrested Boyd, his two sons and four others on July 27, 2009, and accused them of taking part in a conspiracy to wage "violent jihad" outside the United States.

They accused Boyd of recruiting his co-defendants to help him plot attack of government facilities and kill U.S. military personnel.

In court documents and court hearings, federal prosecutors contend that FBI agents seized nearly two dozen guns and more than 27,000 rounds of ammunition from Boyd's home.

The indictment accused the defendants of training in military-style tactics and traveling to the Middle East and Kosovo hoping to kill, kidnap and maim as part of holy war.

During a 2009 detention hearing, federal authorities played audio tapes of Boyd talking in his home about protecting Muslims at all costs. The tape included long discussions about the struggle of Muslims, the honor of martyrdom and his disgust with the U.S. military.

Defense attorneys for the three scheduled for trial next week have argued against having the tapes admitted as evidence. That issue has not been decided.

anne.blythe@newsobserver.com or 919 836-4948

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