by Bob Geary
The Justice Department has charged a ninth man — this one a resident of Kosovo (part of the former Yugoslavia) — with being part of an Islamic cell based in Wake County that is accused of conspiring to commit violent crimes abroad. The man's name is Bajram Asllani. He's 29. According to a statement issued by the Justice Department:
An April 19, 2010, criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Asllani was a member of the conspiracy involving the defendants listed above. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Asllani has had repeated communications with the conspirators; solicited money from the conspirators to establish a base of operations in Kosovo for the purpose of waging violent jihad; tasked the conspirators with completing work to further these objectives and accepted funds from the conspirators to help him travel.
The full statement can be read here:Alssani_Arrest_Press_Release.pdf
Asllani has been arrested in Kosovo, and the U.S. is seeking his extradition to Raleigh for trial.
The other eight defendants, including the alleged leader Daniel Boyd and two of his sons, have been in prison for almost a year awaiting trial. Their arrests were headline news last summer. Whether there's enough evidence against them to support convictions remains to be seen.
Later, three of the eight — Daniel Boyd, his son Zakariya and Hysen Sherifi, who is a native of Kosovo with legal permanent resident status in the U.S. — were also charged in a conspiracy to commit murder on U.S. soil:
A superseding indictment returned on Sept. 24, 2009, added new charges against Daniel Patrick Boyd, Hysen Sherifi and Zakariya Boyd, alleging, among other things, that Daniel Boyd and Sherifi conspired to murder U.S. military personnel as part of a plotto attack troops at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va. These three defendants were also charged with possession of weapons in furtherance of a crime of violence and Daniel Boyd was further charged with providing a firearm to a convicted felon.