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N.C. man admits planning 'violent jihad'

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Producer
  • American pleads guilty to spending years helping terrorists
  • Man was trained in Pakistan, Afghanistan, then fought
  • North Carolinian faces possible life sentence

(CNN) -- A 40-year-old North Carolina man pleaded guilty Wednesday to two terrorism-related felonies that could get him a sentence of life in prison.

Daniel Patrick Boyd, a U.S. citizen, appeared in federal court in New Bern, North Carolina, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons in a foreign country.

"Today Daniel Patrick Boyd admitted his role in a multiyear conspiracy to advance violent jihad by recruiting and helping young men travel overseas to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.

This case proves how our world is changing, added U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding in North Carolina. "Terrorists are no longer only from foreign countries but also citizens who live within our own borders," he said.

Boyd's attorney, Debra Graves, had no comment.

Boyd was arrested July 29, 2009, on a grand jury indictment that alleged he and seven other defendants had prepared to engaged in "violent jihad and were willing to die as martyrs." The indictment says that from 1989 to 1992 Boyd traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan where he received military training in terrorist training camps, and then fought in Afghanistan.

From 2006 through 2009, Boyd and the other defendants provided support to terrorism including offering training in weapons, providing financing and helping arrange overseas travel to others to engage in armed training, the indictment says.

Sentencing for Boyd was set for May. The conspiracy to murder abroad carries a potential life in prison sentence while material support to terrorists carries a maximum 15-year sentence.