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Man named as part of N.C. terror plot arrested

A man arrested in Kosovo is accused of being part of a terrorism plot that originated in North Carolina among people who planned attacks both at a U.S. military installation and abroad.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A man arrested Thursday in Kosovo is accused of being part of a terrorism plot that originated in North Carolina among people who planned attacks both at a U.S. military installation and abroad.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Raleigh said Thursday that Bajram Asllani, 29, of Mitrovica, Kosovo, is accused of plotting with the men in North Carolina to engage in terrorism in Kosovo. Authorities say he asked the U.S. men for money so he could buy land in Kosovo and build a base there to store weapons and ammunition for terrorism.

Asllani also is accused of providing propaganda videos for one of the men in the U.S. to translate and use to recruit others for terrorism. Federal and state authorities gave few details of his arrest, except to say that he was taken into custody without incident by the Kosovo Police Anti-Terrorism Unit.

'A world away from us'
They said Asllani was named in an April criminal complaint unsealed Thursday accusing him of being part of a conspiracy that also has led to the indictment of eight people. They include Daniel Patrick Boyd and two of his sons, all U.S. citizens living in North Carolina.

"People who are plotting to harm America and Americans are no longer a world away from us," Owen D. Harris, special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina, said in a news release. "This case began in Raleigh, N.C., and now stretches across the globe, a circumstance no one would have thought possible less than 10 years ago."

This is not Asllani's first terrorism charge. Authorities say he was arrested by Kosovar law enforcement in 2007 and placed on house arrest. He later was convicted in absentia by a Serbian court in September 2009 for planning terrorist-related offenses. He was sentenced to eight years of confinement.

In July 2009, eight people were indicted on charges of conspiracy on the same charges that Asllani faces and others. They included Boyd and his sons, Zakariya and Dylan; and Hysen Sherifi, a native of Kosovo and U.S. legal permanent resident in North Carolina.

Boyd and Sherifi were later charged with plotting to kill U.S. military personnel at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va.

'Violent jihad'
The complaint unsealed Thursday says Sherifi and Asllani met in the summer of 2008 when Sherifi left Raleigh for Pristina, Kosovo, to pursue "violent jihad." It also says Asllani gave Sherifi the videos so he could recruit others for jihad.

The complaint also says Asllani asked Sherifi to raise money so he could buy land for his Kosovo terror base. It says Sherifi had a check for $15,000 by July 2009 but was arrested before he could take the money to Asllani.

Asllani is charged with providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad. The U.S. plans to seek Asllani's extradition from Kosovo to North Carolina, where he faces a maximum of 40 years in prison if he is convicted.

One of the eight people named in the July 2009 indictment, Jude Kenan Mohammad, remains at large. He was thought to be in Pakistan, where he didn't show up for a court hearing in September.

A federal judge last week ordered the trial for the other seven be delayed until Sept. 19, 2011.