Zakariya “Zak” Boyd, 22, pleaded to a single count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Boyd faces up to 15 years in prison.
Boyd’s father, Daniel, pleaded guilty in February. Daniel Boyd was described by prosecutors as the ringleader of a conspiracy aimed at supporting and participating in violent actions abroad on behalf of a radical jihadist political agenda. The indictment alleged the men raised money to buy assault weapons and conduct training exercises, and that they arranged overseas travel and contacts to help others carry out violent acts.
Ahmed Khalfan, a terrorism suspect captured in Pakistan in 2004 and held in secret CIA prisons in addition to Guantanamo, is going to trial in Manhattan and is requesting all charges be dropped. His lawyers claim that his constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated.
“This motion asks one primary question. Can national security trump an indicted defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial? We resepctfully submit that the answer is emphatically and without qualification. ‘No.’,” says his lawyers.
Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year-old Jordanian, had a 20-minute hearing at the Dallas federal courthouse Friday, September 24. Smadi has been accused of terrorism after attempting to bomb the Fountain Plaza office tower in Dallas, Texas.
Judge Irma Ramirez set a probable cause hearing for October 5.
The Canada Border Services Agency told the Canadian Federal Court that a terror suspect’s Ottawa house was raided last month to see if he was complying with bail conditions. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says Mr. Harkat, a refugee from Algeria, is an Islamic extremist and member of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.
Sixteen border service and police officers, accompanied by three sniffer dogs, spent six hours last month searching the house from top to bottom in the surprise raid. Mr. Harkat’s lawyers consider the raid illegal and abusive, and the Federal Court is looking at whether the operation strayed outside the law. Court proceedings will take place in the next few months.
al-Qaeda’s North African wing has threatened to kill a British tourist taken hostage in the Sahara unless the radical cleric and terrorism suspect Abu Qatada is released within 20 days. The kidnapped man was among four European tourists seized in January after their convoy was ambushed near the border of Niger and Mali, where they had been after attending a Tuareg festival.
Abu Qatada, once described by a Spanish judge as “Osama bin Laden’s righthand man in Europe”, is being held in Britain pending deportation to his native Jordan, where in 1999 he was convicted in his absence of conspiracy to cause explosions and sentenced to life imprisonment. The charges related to bombings at the American school and the Jerusalem hotel in Jordan. He was convicted a second time in 2000 over a plot to bomb tourists. Abu Qatada is one of the highest profile terror suspects held in Britain today, and when Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, signed his deportation order on 18 February she said: “I am keen to deport this dangerous individual as soon as I can.”
“We demand that Britain release Sheikh Abu Qatada, who is unjustly [held], for the release of its British citizen. We give it 20 days as of the issuance of this statement,” the group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said in a posting on an Islamist website yesterday. “When this period expires, the Mujahideen will kill the British hostage.”
The issue highlights the difficulty how to deal with dangerous Islamist prisoners and with al-Qaeda threats from outside Europe, while maintaining security in the UK and without endangering any hostages.
Pakistani authorities have detained a Scottish charity worker once called the “Tartan Taliban”, who converted to Islam more than two decades ago. Dundee-born James McLintock, who goes by his Muslim name, Yakoob, in Pakistan, was picked up in Peshawar over the past month, several sources say. News of his detention filtered out at the weekend amid a public spat between the British and Pakistani governments after last week’s arrest of 11 Pakistani students in northwest England.
McLintock said he fought jihad alongside mujahideen fighters battling Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and in Bosnia in 1994. On Christmas Eve 2001 he was arrested while crossing from Afghanistan as US forces were hunting Osama bin Laden. Initial reports suggested he was a radical Islamist, but after interrogation by British intelligence it emerged he was working for a charity, and he was freed. In 2003, he was detained by British police in Manchester but released shortly afterwards. The Pakistani police have not yet clarified the charges of which McLintock is accused now.
Dutch prosecutors have released a 26-year old Pakistani arrested last month on suspicion of terrorism, due to the lack of evidence. However, prosecutors added that the man will be deported back to Pakistan as an undesirable alien. The man was arrested on March 14th in the southern city of Breda. At the time, he was suspected of belonging to a cell of Islamic extremists linked to an alleged and thwarted attack in Barcelona.