- Men are part of eight-person ring, authorities say
- Leader pleaded guilty in February but hasn't been sentenced
- Two discussed attacking Marine base in Virginia
Three men received sentences Friday ranging from 15 to 45 years for their roles in a homegrown terrorism ring based in North Carolina.
Hysen Sherifi, a native of Kosovo and a legal permanent resident of the United States, was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Ziyad Yaghi, a naturalized U.S. citizen, got almost 32 years. The two men were convicted in October of plotting to kill people overseas and of conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism. Sherifi also was convicted of conspiring to kill a federal officer or employee and of two firearms charges.
The third man, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism. All three are in their 20s and had pleaded not guilty.
The men were part of a ring that prosecutors said was thought to comprise eight people. The leader, Daniel Patrick Boyd, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to kill people overseas and of material support for terrorism. He has not been sentenced.
Sherifi and Boyd had discussed attacking the Quantico, Virginia, Marine Corps base. According to prosecutors, Boyd was a convert to Islam who had received training in terrorist camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Boyd recruited and trained others to go overseas and undertake violent jihad. According to the indictment charging the men, they believed that such violence was an obligation and decided "should their efforts to fight jihad overseas prove impossible, jihad would take place here in the United States."
The indictment said that from November 2006 through July 2009, Boyd conspired with the others to provide material support to terrorists. That included money, training, transportation and manpower.
Boyd and most of the others were arrested and charged in July 2009. Two of his sons, Zakariya and Dylan Boyd, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism this year and received sentences of nine and eight years, respectively.
Anes Subasic, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is awaiting trial in North Carolina. The eighth suspect charged in the case is Jude Kenan Mohammad, a U.S. citizen who authorities say is believed to be at large in Pakistan.
In April 2010, a ninth man was charged in what previously had been known as an eight-person conspiracy. Bajram Asllani, a resident of Kosovo, was charged with conspiracy to kill people overseas and to provide material support to terrorists. The government alleges that Asllani solicited money from Boyd and the others to establish a base of operations in Kosovo to carry out violent jihad. He is reportedly at large in Kosovo.