I don’t know what to make of this story. It seems to have been barely mentioned by the media, and I only noticed it tucked away in a tiny corner of a big website with lots of headlines.
On the one hand, it’s the first news story I recall seeing that uses any permutation of the word “terror” in conjunction with a white guy. But I can’t call it a major story, because almost no one has reported it or seen it.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities on Monday arrested seven people from North Carolina who have been charged with plotting to carry out terrorist attacks overseas, including in Kosovo, Jordan and the Gaza Strip.
U.S. prosecutors said the ringleader of the group, Daniel Patrick Boyd, trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan from 1989 to 1992 and used that experience to set up his own organization to train fighters, raise money and carry out attacks abroad.
Three of the seven arrestees are whitey-white Americans. I think that might be the reason that the next paragraph in the article was this:
U.S. official told reporters that there was no indication that Boyd’s group was connected with an international militant organization or that they were planning attacks in the United States.
I keep seeing these disclaimers in news stories about white American men.
All seven face up to life in prison if convicted.
They were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad. Boyd and others also face weapons charges.
Additionally, the indictment accused Boyd and several of the others in the group with practicing with weapons they acquired — mostly rifles and armor-piercing bullets according to the U.S. official — and trying out military-style maneuvers.
Here’s some more of what’s weird about this story:
In 1991, Boyd and his brother were convicted of bank robbery in Pakistan. They were also accused of carrying identification showing they belonged to the radical Afghan guerrilla group, Hezb-e-Islami, or Party of Islam. Each was sentenced to have a foot and a hand cut off for the robbery, but the decision was later overturned.
Their wives told The Associated Press in an interview at the time that the couples had U.S. roots but the United States was a country of “kafirs” — Arabic for heathens.
Sabrina Boyd said in her statement that her husband was in Afghanistan fighting against the Soviet Union “with the full backing of the United States government.”
It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this. So far it doesn’t look likely to overshadow the story of the New Jersey rabbi kidney extortionist and his coconspirators.