Neighbors of Daniel Boyd, a son of a Marine, are befuddled over his federal indictment on terrorism-related charges. Boyd, who attended a public high school here in Northern Virginia and who now lives in North Carolina, runs a dry-wall business in Raleigh.
The feds are alleging that on the side, Boyd is a terrorist. Charles Casale, a neighbor of Boyd, said, “If he’s a terrorist, he’s the nicest terrorist I ever met in my life.”
Now, mind you, they’re not claiming that Boyd has committed any terrorist attacks here in the United States or has even threatened to do so. In fact, they’re not even claiming that he has ties to al-Qaeda.
What they’re saying is that he’s a Muslim who planned to go overseas at some point in the future and fight in some Muslim cause, such as helping to overthrow the brutal, authoritarian regime in Jordan, which is an ally of the U.S. government. As part of this future plan, Boyd is alleged to have persuaded some other Americans to become Muslims. And apparently he also purchased a variety of weapons to wage his future jihadist campaign — weapons that, if I’m not mistaken, are available for purchase at any gun show in the U.S.
The feds are alleging that Boyd even practiced military tactics and target practice on private land. Even worse, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Charlotte, he allegedly accepted the sum of $500 (five hundred dollars) in cash from another defendant to help finance his future overseas jihad campaign.
One of the interesting parts of the indictment is a section that describes assistance that Boyd allegedly provided to Afghan rebels from 1989 to 1992. Apparently the feds consider that was something bad. But Boyd’s wife points out a rather discomforting truth: The U.S. government was doing the same thing at the same time. I wonder if it’s too late to add those U.S. officials to the Boyd indictment who were supplying arms and money to Osama bin Laden and other Islamic jihadists during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Heck, for that matter, maybe we can add those federal officials to the indictment who furnished those infamous WMDs to Saddam Hussein so that he could use them to kill the Iranian people. Isn’t that at least as bad as some nebulous plans to engage in an overseas jihad campaign at some undetermined time in the future?
Boyd is facing the possibility of life in prison if he is convicted. Actually, he should be counting his lucky stars. If they had treated him as an enemy combatant rather than as a criminal defendant, which the feds have had the option of doing under U.S. law since 9/11, they could have sent battle-tested U.S. troops from Ft. Bragg into Raleigh to attack Boyd’s house, take him into custody, whisk him away to a secret military detention center, torture him, and keep him incarcerated for the rest of his life.
Better yet, they could have sent a CIA hit squad to assassinate him, as they did in Yemen, thereby sparing all the hassle and expense of a trial and risking the possibility of an acquittal. Well, on second thought, the risk of an acquittal is no big deal because even if Boyd were to be acquitted, the Constitution’s bar against double jeopardy no longer prevents the military from taking him into custody as an enemy combatant.