Daniel Patrick Boyd and the alleged NC jihadist cell

The latest issue of the Weekly Standard contains my article on Daniel Patrick Boyd, who authorities say was the ringleader of the alleged jihadist cell arrested in the Raleigh, North Carolina area on July 22. My article — the product of several days of research in the Raleigh area — highlights the two faces of Boyd, a 39-year-old white convert to Islam. On the one hand, his neighbors have rallied around him, saying the indictment is inconsistent with the Boyd they knew; one told me that he was “the best neighbor I’ve ever had.” Others, though, saw a different side of Boyd, a man who embraced Islamic militancy and spoke often of jihad.

In looking at this other side of Boyd, my article quotes a member of the Raleigh Muslim community who knew Boyd well, and provides a look at some of the government exhibits at his detention proceeding (the exhibits can be found on the Investigative Project of Terrorism’s web site). But there was a far larger amount of interesting material than I could fit into a 1500-word piece. A few points from the exhibits (note that some of the transliteration in the government exhibits is idiosyncratic; I have retained the original spelling and grammar).

Boyd on Jihad

Many of Boyd’s neighbors thought that the harsh views on jihad that Boyd allegedly held were out of character for the person they knew. But the government’s surveillance reveals a number of militant statements. From Government Exhibit 27 (a recording taken on July 3, 2009): “BOYD states ‘this book’ (Quran) is about jihad and how to deal with hypocrites. BOYD states there is no du’a (personal request to God) without Jihad.” Government Exhibit 32 (recording taken 6/26/2009), paraphrasing Boyd: “For the Shaheed: All of his sins are forgiven, from the first drop of their blood. He is saved from the punishment of the grave. If you have ever read anything about the punishment of the grave, this one point alone is enough to go and fight for Allah and hope for ‘Shaheeda.'”

Takfiri Orientation

I noted in my article that one of Boyd’s statements (about how Muslims who “think it is all right to just sit here, chill in America, make some money” are “tripping and have left Islam”) was evidence of the takfiri view that those with a different opinion of armed combat have left the faith and become apostates. This is not his only takfiri statement. Government Exhibit 32, paraphrasing Boyd: “If Muslims leave Jihad, Allah will humiliate them until they return to their Deen. What I hear is that when you leave Jihad, you leave Islam. What is wrong with you that you don’t fight for the cause of Allah?”

Boyd the Teacher

When I spoke to members of Raleigh’s Muslim community, they didn’t think Boyd had a particularly deep theological understanding of jihad. The exhibits paint a somewhat different picture — not that he was an intellectual, but that he was able to cite to scholars and provide arguments based on Islamic history. From Government Exhibit 27: “BOYD discusses the Meccan period of Islam. BOYD states Muslims are not in the Meccan period. BOYD talks about several scholars and what they have in common. The scholars are all majahideens (a person that engages in Jihad). BOYD quotes a Muslim scholar: For those who make Jihad in the name of Allah we will guide them to our path and there is Allah with the majahideen…. BOYD continues to preach and quotes a scholar: After Iman (faith) there is no duty but Jihad, defending the Muslim land.”

Islam and the West in Conflict

In the study on homegrown terrorist radicalization that Laura Grossman and I released in April, one of the external indicators we examined was the perception of a schism between Islam and the West: the belief that the two are at odds, and perhaps incapable of coexistence. This was in evidence in the government exhibits. Government Exhibit 30, taken in the Blackstone Market in Garner, NC on 4/18/2008: “BOYD and Anes [Subasic, a codefendant] discuss what it means to be a good citizen and how it conflicts with being a good Muslim. Per BOYD, it is more important to follow Allah and look for a way to send resources and shabaab.”

Boyd’s Political Anger

In Government Exhibit 30 (recording taken 6/26/2009, paraphrasing Boyd), he says: “The American troops occupy our 2 holy sites, Mecca and Medina. They are helping the Jews at our third holy [site]; Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a.k.a. the Dome of the Rock). The prophet forbids that they can be in Mecca and Medina, and they are there. The blood of the Muslims has become cheap in the world market. This is because the Muslims have abandoned Jihad. ‘Everything with the Muslims has become intellectual and metaphorical while the Kuffar are taking the real world right from out from under our feet.'”

The Plot

I note in my article that it was not clear what Boyd was up to in relation to the terrorism charges. It is possible that the government chose to arrest him too early, before it had gathered sufficient evidence on those charges to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But a number of things he and the other defendants said are quite suggestive.

Boyd spoke to an undercover witness about his desire to rob drug dealers in order to finance terrorist activity. Government Exhibit 28 (covert recording on 5/20/2009): “Boyd states that the fact of the matter is, is that these dope boys, they be carrying a lot of money. Boyd states that they should snatch it from them and use it for the ‘sake of Allah.'” Don’t go around grabbing it and feeding your family or something. If you take it, send it to the mujahidin or somebody with it. Boyd asked Witness if he still knew people like this (drug dealers) and if the witness knew how to find them. Boyd stated he doesn’t want no chump. He wants ten grand and up.” On the same recording Boyd talks about his desire to rob banks: “Hitting the Wells Fargo trucks and banks, that money is insured. They have to pay the people who had the money. Those people don’t get hurt. The banks get hurt and the banking system is the main ammunition for the Kuffar. It is the main ammunition. Boyd states that he was hitting the banks in Pakistan. That is how I got in jail over there–some brothers and I. We would get 30 to 40 thousand rupies and give it to the mujahidin. We were also young and dumb and no[t] thinking straight. Here, we have lots of talent, lots of experience, lots of brains.”

Boyd and other defendants were also paranoid about being under surveillance, and spoke as though they were trying to disguise an illegal plot. Government Exhibit 30: “BOYD asks Anes if he has his phone on, and Anes answers yes. BOYD asks why then tells Anes not to bring it in there because ‘you have to be smart.’ BOYD then tells Anes they are brothers [using the Arabic word ikhwan]. Anes says he checked the phone, and BOYD replies, ‘no problem.’ BOYD says he has to be cautious because his blood brother, who was a SEAL for 20 years and has worked for the Department of Defense for the past 13 years, knows ‘a lot about what they do and why they do it.’ Anes says he knows, too, because the speaker phone on a cell phone can listen in the room when someone is on the line after you think you have hung up. They go on to discuss the GPS feature of Anes’ cell phone and how it could be wired as a transceiver to transmit his cell phone conversations.” Later in the same exhibit, Subasic tells Boyd: “So, my phone, safe or not, but your store is probably not safe, is not safer than any phone.” Subasic then, in a somewhat confusing manner, intimates an apparent fear of prosecution: “[A]s soon as you give me something, as soon as I give you something or something that they don’t like, and that they can put on the paper, and prove, you know, that we are not any more just brothers   who like to see each other. And if you have me, and I have you and if somebody of them know something about this, and they can prove it, by the word, by listening, by the paper, by any how, how may we have something that is not any more safe.”

The government alleges that the defendants at times spoke in code; Exhibit 30 features a bizarre discussion between Boyd and Subasic about cars, where the “cars” appear to be referring to people.

At times Boyd suggested that he wanted to kill government agents. In Government Exhibit 33 (recording taken 6/10/2009), Boyd and others (including Zakariya Boyd, Hysen Sharif, and a government witness) are out shooting. Boyd shows the witness an old ballast from a light fixture, and says: “If it can do something with that, just imagine what it could do if you shoot one in a vest.”

Government Exhibit 32: “Boyd questions why he has to speak quietly and meet secretly. Why can’t we meet in a normal Masjid? Because of the Kuffar and the things the other Muslims are going to say.”

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

1 Comment

  • Render says:

    Daveed –
    Exhibit #34 seems to show a few more pieces then the public press release mentioned. Any ideas why?
    And it was nice to see a blow up of that pic…it cleared up a loose end or two.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram