Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Terrorist Next Door

Chances are that if asked to describe a terrorist, most people would not paint him as a good 'ol boy in a checkered shirt. According to authorities, Daniel Boyd, 39, of North Carolina, his two sons and four others were accused of plotting "violent jihad."

"These charges hammer home the point that terrorists and their supporters are not confined to the remote regions of some far away land but can grow and fester right here at home," U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said.

Apparently Boyd's hatred had been festering for over twenty years. Two decades ago Boyd trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan and fought against the Soviets for three years.

The Huffington Post reports:

In 1991, Boyd and his brother were convicted of bank robbery in Pakistan – 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.

Jim Stephenson, a neighbor of Daniel Boyd in Willow Spring, said he saw the family walking their dog in the neighborhood and that the indictment shocked the residents.

"We never saw anything to give any clues that something like that could be going on in their family," Stephenson said.

Having lived in small, rural, southern towns for the better part of my life it seems odd to me that Boyd's neighbors didn't seem to notice anything out of the norm. It would stand to reason that neighbors who call their neighbors "kafirs" aren't the friendliest people in the world. Today it would be rare for someone from a town like mine to convert to Islam; twenty years ago it would have been unthinkable. Further, how did Boyd, at the age of nineteen find himself training and fighting in Afghanistan?

Too many things about this story don't make sense.

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