Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Terrorism Analyst

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First Thoughts on NC Terror Arrests

The terror arrests outside Raleigh, N.C., are big for a few reasons.

1. This was a homegrown cell based in rural America.

2. It was led by a white convert to Islam named Daniel Patrick Boyd.

3. The cell had plotted against Israel, which means they could very well have targeted Jewish sites on U.S. soil as well.

We still don't have all the details on that front. But a common thread in many recent terror arrests on U.S. soil is a desire among the suspects to hit Jewish targets, either here or abroad.

This North Carolina cell was based in a rural area outside Raleigh. Rural America is the perfect place for jihadis to lay low and train. In fact, I have been following the "jihad in rural America" angle for some time: it is real and troubling. 

I've reported  from the backwoods compound of a radical group called Muslims of America; from sleepy Shelbyville, Tenn, where hundreds of Somali Muslims have flocked; in recent years; from rural Virginia, again, where a terror cell trained for jihad by playing paintball; and from Tulsa, Okla.,  where a moderate Muslim man was threatened for speaking out against jihad. And let's not forget the attempt to establish a terror training camp in the backwoods of Bly, Oregon.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this North Carolina jihad cell is that it was apparently made up of mostly white converts to Islam.

Indeed, Daniel Patrick Boyd looked like your typical good 'ol boy. He ran a drywall business with his family. Neighbors frequently observed him walking his dog (and here I thought that dogs were haram among jihadis) and so far have portayed him as a pretty unassuming guy.

Frankly, Boyd had the perfect cover. Let's face it: a predominantly white, Christian rural area outside of Raleigh, N.C. is the last place you would suspect an Islamic terror cell to set up shop. And you probably wouldn't look twice at lily white Daniel Boyd if he were walking through airport security. These are all reasons why Al Qaeda continues to make strong efforts to recruit white Westerners into their fold, as I reported in December

A last interesting tidbit about Boyd: he was a veteran of terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan who fought against the Soviet Union during the 1980s. So this cell was not led by an amateur.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 9:40 AM

Comments on this post

# RE: First Thoughts on NC Terror Arrests

I just finished reading the comments as well as this article. I don't know why it has taken so long for the authorities to catch up with what is going on around our country. REALITY CHECK!Our innocence is broken, and now we know America is no longer safe. We need to be more diligent of what is going on around us, protect our families. I just don't understand why Americans would want to demolish their own country. If unhappy, please go where the jihads are and stay there.
Left by Carol on Jul 28, 2009 4:58 PM

# RE: First Thoughts on NC Terror Arrests

Several years ago I heard just from people talking that there were many cell groups and training camps in the USA for terrorists. Why just now is there concern? What happened to this information that has been around. Are we so dense we allow this?
Left by Carol on Jul 28, 2009 9:58 PM