NC terrorist ring busted – thanks again, President Bush!

The NYT reports that the 7 – count ’em – 7 suspected terrorists who were arrested and charged this week in North Carolina with “providing material support to terrorists and planning terror attacks” had been under surveillance for three years:

The F.B.I. watched Daniel Patrick Boyd for three years as he stockpiled rifles and revolvers, trained accomplices including his two sons, and planned to commit terrorist attacks overseas, before agents arrested the group in coordinated raids on Monday afternoon, according to a federal indictment filed in the case.

Mr. Boyd, his sons and four other men were charged with providing material support to terrorists and planning terror attacks. They apparently did not succeed in carrying out any attacks. An eighth man was still being sought in the case, according to a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in Raleigh, N.C.; The Associated Press reported that he may be in Pakistan.

More than 100 law enforcement officials, including four S.W.A.T. teams and a hostage rescue team from Quantico, Va., stormed several homes in arresting the seven suspects on Monday afternoon, according to an F.B.I. spokeswoman, Amy Thoreson. “With what they are accused of planning, we wanted to take every precaution,” she said.

Detention hearings are scheduled for the men on Thursday, Ms. Thoreson said. The location where they are being held was not disclosed.

Besides Mr. Boyd, who is 39, the indictment names his sons Zakariya, 20, and Dylan, 22; Anes Subasic, 33; Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22; Ziyad Yaghi, 21; and Hysen Sherifi, 24. All are American citizens except Mr. Sherifi, who is from Kosovo and has legal residence in the United States.

The North Carolina arrests, which stunned many residents of Johnston County in suburban Raleigh, were the latest in a series of efforts break up homegrown terrorists cells after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, from Lackawanna, N.Y. to Miami.

The federal indictment suggested that religious extremism was the motive for the planned terrorist activities, and that the defendants prepared to die as martyrs in suicide attacks. Mr. Boyd, the son of a United States Marine, is a convert to Islam, and received training from Islamic radicals in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the indictment said; the other suspects are all Muslims.

Robert Spencer has the detailed DOJ press release detailing the indictments. Rusty Shackleford has much more, including more details on on the suspects, as well as information on the 8th suspected terrorist, who is believed to be in Pakistan.

Once again – as we have many times before – Bush-era counterterrorism policies have, and are continuing to, kept Americans safe. Thanks, Mr. Prez.

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