A federal jury convicted three North Carolina men Thursday in a trial that focused on a plot to carry out terrorist attacks on the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., and targets overseas.
Mohammed Omar Aly Hassan, Ziyad Yaghi and Hysen Sherifi were part of a group of eight men who fundraised, stockpiled weapons and trained in preparation for jihadist attacks against members of the American military and others perceived enemies of Islam, according to AP.
In a month long trial, the jury delivered its verdict after going back and forth since Wednesday. Hassan was found not guilty of conspiracy to carry out attacks overseas but convicted of providing material support to terrorists. However, Yaghi and Sherifi were convicted on all counts.
Earlier this year, three other men from the terror trail were convicted including ringleader Daniel Boyd, an Islam convert. Boyd’s two sons were also involved in the case and pleaded guilty in the trail.
According to case prosecutors, Hassan and Yaghi tried traveling to Israel in 2007 to join forces with Boyd and his sons to go through with the planned attack.
In the courtroom’s closing argument, jurors were shown a large cache of rifles, pistols and ammunition taken from Boyd's home in rural Raleigh.
Lawyers of the convicted men described the government’s case as an alleged prosecution of young Muslims who took their digital sharing of jihadist videos and exchange of Facebook posts in support of fighting American overseas a little too far.
Scheduled to go on trial in a separate case is Anes Subasic. The last suspect is missing and believed to be hiding out in Pakistan.
Muslims in the Raleigh-area expressed concerned when the men were arrested in 2009. They feared their community was at risk for aggressive examination of federal law enforcement.
Some members of a Raleigh mosque traveled five hours round trip to New Bern to offer moral support to the three defendants on trial.