Category Archives: Chesney’s National Security Law Listserv Archive

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United States v. Boyd (E.D.N.C. Sep. 14, 2011) (yes, another guilty

* United States v. Boyd (E.D.N.C. Sep. 14, 2011) (yes, another guilty plea)

Well, I spoke to soon.  Another DOJ win in a terrorism case. You have to admire the concatenation of inchoateness in this particular charge: aiding-and-abetting a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, where that underlying material support offense in turn is predicated on support being provided to persons involved in a conspiracy to commit murder abroad in violation of 18 USC 956(a).  Restated, that’s (i) aiding and abetting (ii) a conspiracy to provide (iii) material support to (iv) a conspiracy to (v) commit murder abroad).  Whew!  From the press release:

RALEIGH, N.C. – Dylan Boyd, aka “Mohammed,” pleaded guilty today in federal court in New Bern, N.C., to one count of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, announced Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Thomas G. Walker, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina; M. Chris Briese, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI Charlotte Division; and John F. Khin, Special Agent-in-Charge, Southeast Field Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS).

Boyd, 24, a U.S. citizen and resident of North Carolina, was first charged along with seven other defendants in a federal indictment returned on July 22, 2009.  He was arrested on July 29, 2009, and the indictment was unsealed.  On Sept. 24, 2009, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment in the case.

According to the superseding indictment, from before November 2006 through at least July 2009, Boyd aided and abetted other named defendants and others who conspired to provide material support and resources to terrorists, including currency, training, transportation and personnel.  The object of the conspiracy, according to the indictment, was to advance violent jihad, including supporting and participating in terrorist activities abroad and committing acts of murder, kidnapping or maiming persons abroad.

The indictment alleges that, as part of the conspiracy, Boyd assisted other defendants as they prepared themselves to engage in violent jihad and were willing to die as martyrs.  They also allegedly offered training in weapons and financing, and helped arrange overseas travel and contacts so others could wage violent jihad overseas.  In addition, as part of the conspiracy, the defendants raised money to support training efforts, disguised the destination of such monies from the donors and obtained assault weapons to develop skills with the weapons.  Some defendants also allegedly radicalized others to believe that violent jihad was a personal religious obligation.

At sentencing, Boyd faces a potential 15 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for aiding and abetting a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Boyd’s father and co-defendant, Daniel Patrick Boyd, pleaded guilty on Feb. 9, 2011, to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to murder kidnap, maim and injure persons in a foreign country.  Boyd’s brother and co-defendant, Zakariya Boyd, pleaded guilty on June 7, 2011, to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.  Trial for the remaining co-defendants in custody is scheduled for September 2011.

United States v. Harpham (E.D. Wash. Sep. 7, 2011)

* United States v. Harpham (E.D. Wash. Sep. 7, 2011) (guilty plea)

Ok, this should be it for today.  Last week was a busy one for DOJ in terrorism cases!

In this case, Kevin Harhpham has pled guilty to placing an IED along the planned route for the MLK Day parade in Spokane last January.  The details from the press release below.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Kevin William Harpham, 37, of Colville, Wash., pleaded guilty today to the placement of the improvised explosive device alongside the planned Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March on Jan. 17, 2011, in Spokane, Wash., announced the Department of Justice.

On March 9, 2011, Harpham was arrested and charged by complaint with the crimes of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device.  Today, Harpham pleaded guilty to two counts of a superseding indictment, charging Harpham with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempt to commit a federal hate crime.  The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March was attended by hundreds of individuals, including racial minorities.  The explosive device placed by Harpham was capable of inflicting serious injury or death, according to laboratory analysis conducted by the FBI.

The plea agreement calls for a sentence of between 27 and 32 years in prison.  The plea agreement is subject to the district court’s review acceptance and determination of the final sentence.  The plea agreement also calls for a lifetime term of court supervision after Harpham is released from prison.

United States v. Payen (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 7, 2011)

* United States v. Payen (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 7, 2011) (25 year sentence in NY terror plot)

 

From the press release:

 

NEW YORK – Laguerre Payen was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for plotting to bomb synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, N.Y., and to use Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles to shoot down military planes located at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., announced Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

 

Payen was convicted along with James Cromitie, David Williams and Onta Williams in October 2010 after a two-month jury trial.  U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon presided over the trial and imposed today’s sentence.

 

            “Laguerre Payen was a willing participant in a plot to use bombs and missiles to target New York synagogues and U.S. military planes,” said U.S. Attorney Bharara.  “Although these weapons were fake, the defendant believed they were real, and today’s sentence underscores the gravity of these crimes.”

 

            According to the evidence presented at trial and other documents and proceedings in this case:

 

            In June 2008, an informant working with the FBI was approached by Cromitie in Newburgh.  Cromitie explained to the informant that his parents had lived in Afghanistan and that he was upset about the war there.  Cromitie expressed interest in returning to Afghanistan and said that if he were to die a martyr, he would go to “paradise.”  He also expressed an interest in doing “something to America.”  The following month, Cromitie and the informant discussed Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based designated foreign terrorist organization, with which the informant claimed to be involved.  Cromitie stated that he would be interested in joining the organization to “do jihad.”

 

During further meetings with the informant, Cromitie, Payen, David Williams and Onta Williams discussed their desire to attack certain targets in New York, including synagogues in the Bronx and military aircraft located at the Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.  Cromitie asked the informant to supply surface-to-air guided missiles and explosives for the planned operations.  The informant responded that he could provide Cromitie with C-4 plastic explosives.

 

            After Cromitie, Payen, David Williams and Onta Williams selected the synagogues they intended to target and conducted surveillance of military planes at the Air National Guard Base, Cromitie, Payen and David Williams drove with the informant toward Stamford, Ct., to obtain what the defendants believed would be a surface-to-air guided missile system and three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) containing C-4 plastic explosive material.  The informant provided the defendants with a Stinger surface-to-air guided missile provided by the FBI that was not capable of being fired, telling the defendants that he had obtained it from Jaish-e-Mohammed.  The informant also provided three IEDs that each contained over 30 pounds of inert C-4 plastic explosives, again telling the defendants that he had obtained them from Jaish-e-Mohammed.  Cromitie, Payen and David Williams transported these weapons back to Newburgh on May 6, 2009. 

 

            Two days later, Cromitie, Payen, David Williams and Onta Williams met to inspect the “missile system” and the “explosive devices” and to further discuss the logistics of the operation.  On May 13, 2009, they returned to Stamford and picked up another Stinger missile.  Law enforcement officers arrested the four men on May 20, 2009, right after they planted the IEDs outside of two synagogues in Riverdale. 

 

            Payen, Cromitie, David Williams and Onta Williams were each found guilty by a jury of one count of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States, three counts of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States, one count of conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles, one count of attempting to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles, and one count of conspiracy to kill officers and employees of the United States.  Cromitie and David Williams were also found guilty by a jury of one count of attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States.

 

            In addition to the prison term, Judge McMahon sentenced Payen, 29, of Newburgh, to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $700 special assessment fee. Cromitie, David Williams and Onta Williams were sentenced to 25 years in prison on June 29, 2011.

                                                                                   

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