The US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina has indicted seven on federal terrorism charges. According to the News & Observor, “All are charged with conspiring to provide support to terrorists and conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad. The charges are related to allegations that they helped raise money and provide training for terrorism operations in Tel Aviv, Israel.”
The seven count indictment filed with the federal court reads, in part, “In the period from 1989-1992, Daniel Patrick Boyd, a/k/a “Saifullah” traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan where he received military style training in terrorist camps for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad.” The indictment then sets out how Boyd sought to involve members of his family and others in terrorist actions.
A study of federal terrorism indictments released last week found that of 214 defendents involved in terrorist cases that have been resolved, 91 percent were convicted. The study, completed by former federal prosecuters for Human Rights First, argues this demonstrates the counterterrorism efficacy of the legal system.
A Saturday frontpage story in the New York Times reported that the Bush administration seriously considered declaring even more US citizens as “enemy combatants” and placing them in military stockades. According to the Times, “Former officials said the 2002 debate arose partly from Justice Department concerns that there might not be enough evidence to arrest and successfully prosecute the suspects in Lackawanna. Mr. Cheney, the officials said, had argued that the administration would need a lower threshold of evidence to declare them enemy combatants and keep them in military custody.”
The so-called Lackawanna Six were convicted of terrorism-related charges in May, 2003.
Indepth background piece (07/29) is available from the Washington Post.
More on the Pakistan connection (07/30) is available from the Associated Press.