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The State of Things

Tar Heel Terrorists?

A complicated terrorism trial began unfolding in federal court in New Bern last week. Facing charges are Omar Hassan, 24, Ziyad Yaghi, 23, and Hysen Sherifi, 27. The three men are accused of belonging to a home-grown terrorist network, a web that stretches from the rural Wake County hamlet of Willow Spring to the Middle East. At the center of this web is a man named Daniel Boyd. Boyd pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to “murder, kidnap, injure or maim” people overseas. The charges carry a possible life sentence. Boyd is expected to testify against the three young men currently on trial, facing similar charges. The court proceedings may offer a window on the methods that the FBI and federal prosecutors use to investigate and convict suspected terrorists. Host Frank Stasio joins talks with freelance reporter Aaron Lake Smith, whose story, “What constitutes terrorism?” appeared in The Independent Weekly last week.

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