The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - The older brother of a North Carolina man accused of recruiting and training would-be terrorists said Thursday he didn't believe sibling Daniel Boyd intended to wage "violent jihad" abroad.
Robert Boyd said the federal charges sound "like another attempt to associate Islam with terrorism" and the accusations "they're trying to pin on him is pure poppycock as far as I am concerned."
Boyd, 49, spoke to The Associated Press from his home in Minnesota and called the situation his brother faces "ludicrous." He described his younger brother as an "upstanding young man."
Authorities say Daniel Boyd, 39, bought guns and led a group of men who were planning to kidnap, kill and maim people abroad. The indictment said some of the defendants took trips to Jordan, Israel and Pakistan.
Boyd was arrested Monday along with six others, including two of his sons.
Federal authorities are looking for an eighth man tied to the group, who is believed to be in Pakistan.
Robert Boyd, who is also a practicing Muslim, said he first learned of the charges against his brother while watching television.
Federal investigators say Daniel Boyd was the ringleader of the small North Carolina-based terrorist group and was involved in three years of international travel, gun buys and military-style training trips. Authorities claim the group was gearing up for a "violent jihad," though prosecutors haven't detailed any specific targets or timeframe.
When Daniel Boyd was in Pakistan and Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992, he had military-style training in terrorist camps and fought the Soviets, who were ending their occupation of Afghanistan, according to the indictment. In 1991, Daniel Boyd and his brother Charles were convicted of robbing a bank in Pakistan, where they and their wives were living. A sentence that included amputations of a hand and foot was overturned.
Prosecutors said Boyd brought that training back to North Carolina, where he recruited followers willing to die as martyrs.
Robert Boyd, who is also Muslim, said Daniel Boyd didn't discuss what he did in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"They talked about how beautiful it was over there," Robert Boyd said. "They loved it over there."
"As far as I was concerned he was with the mujahedeen trying to kick ass on the Russians and get them out of Afghanistan, which was backed by the United States," Robert Boyd said.
Robert Boyd said he didn't know of his brother Charles' whereabouts.