Dr. Walid Phares
North Carolina: Meet Taqiyya Jihad.
July 31, 2009
With shock and malaise, Americans are discovering that their country is
penetrated by jihadi terrorists, particularly those we call "homegrown."
Over the past few months, several alarming cases have been revealed by
law enforcement. Not only the frequency of these revelations but also
the type of jihadi cells are teaching the public that something very
troubling is happening within the homeland: the surge of a threat
deserving a greater attention than the current attitude dispensed by the
The arrest of Daniel Patrick Boyd, a married 39-year-old, his two sons,
and four other "jihadis” in a rural area south of Raleigh, N.C., is not
a little matter in our global analysis of the movement within the United
States. "Saifullah,” the jihadi name of Boyd; his two sons, Zakariya,
20, and Dylan, 22; Mohammed Omar Aly Hassan, 22; and Ziad Yaghi, 21, are
all U.S. citizens. Hysen Sherifi, 24, a Kosovo national, is a legal
According to government documents (we only read the published ones),
this was a group based in the U.S. training and readying to perform
"jihad” overseas, like a Virginia predecessor group arrested some eight
years ago and charged with using paintball training camps to "strike at
targets in the sub Indian continent.” Based on this data alone the North
Carolina cell is a combatant group committed to "terror war.” By
reviewing this data however and comparing it with the multiple cells
dismantled over several years, particularly over the past few months,
the matter is more serious.
Furthermore, even though the courts will struggle with defense
attorneys’ expected tactics to portray the jihadists as enamored with a
"foreign cause,” many in the counterterrorism community would not buy
this version. All the hallmarks indicate (based on the published
information) that the case is more ominous than thought to be by average
citizens. The legal proceedings will take their course and justice will
be served in court, but the bigger picture, the troubling questions
related to this country’s national security must be addressed seriously
and fast, as we read into this case.
"Saifullah” Boyd (the sword of Allah in Arabic) is 39. He is said to
have served with Hezb-e-Islami in Afghanistan and Pakistan between 1989
and 1992. This means that this American citizen switched to jihadi
ideology and committed to military action at least 12 years before 9/11.
It also means that he was still fighting with the jihadists three years
after the withdrawal of the Soviets from Afghanistan in February, 1989.
Who was he fighting against and for what goal?
The answer is that he has joined the "international cause” of jihadism
that is to perform strikes wherever the "cause” will take him against
the kuffars infidels, including on his native soil. He was 19 when he
was "recruited” to war activities. At the time of arrest, the members of
the cell were 20, 21, 22, 22, and 24. On 9/11, these jihadists were
between the age of 10 and 13. Who over the decade indoctrinated them,
recruited them, and trained them? Even more daring is to ask who is
indoctrinating children age 10 and above to jihadism within the United
States. It would be hard to believe that Boyd was the only jihadi
instructor in the country.
"Saifullah” of North Carolina spent his 20s and 30s (or so we know) in
his rural home. His neighbors saw him walking the dog and never heard
him threatening anyone, per the media reports. By popular American
standards he would be a regular guy. But by jihadi doctrine he was
taqiyya. Combatants "in the path of Allah,” as instructed by
ideologues to "fake” normalcy, and lie if needed, about their real
beliefs so that the deception of the enemy is full.
The question is how many other American "Saifullahs” are practicing
taqiyya and since when? Are the urban jihadists in numbers greater than
what we think or our defense and national security institutions thinks?
How many U.S.-born terror combatants have been able to perform perfect
taqiyya for 10 or 20 years until today? Does our government know what
this doctrine is all about and, more importantly, are authorities
educating the body of our defense apparatus regarding this stealthy
threat dormant among us?
Steps to Be Taken
In view of this benchmark discovery in the aftermath of a series of
jihadi arrests performed by law enforcement this year, all indicating
that a "jihadi system” is expanding inside the country I strongly
recommend the following steps:
▪ That the Department of Homeland Security quickly issues an assessment
of this growing urban jihadi web and forms a task force to study the
depth of the penetration on a national scale.
▪ That the president speaks on the issue of the arrest as a national
security breach and warns the public from possible other urban cells
growing and operating in America. President Barack Obama must not ignore
what is becoming a direct national security threat to the American
▪ Congress must reconvene a bipartisan national security commission,
similar to the 9/11 Commission, to propose appropriate measures and laws
to combat this lethal indoctrination of adults and children, most of
whom are American citizens.
This North Carolina taqiyya cell, and the last few cases of arrests this
year, raises a real red flag. We are now meeting the "army of jihad”
here at home, and it is growing. It must be addressed before it will be
About Dr. Walid Phares
Dr. Walid Phares is the Director of Future Terrorism
Project at the Foundation for the
Democracies in Washington, a visiting scholar at the European Foundation
for Democracy and the author of the War of Ideas. Dr. Phares was one of the
architects of UNSCR 1559. He is also a Professor of Middle East
Studies at Florida Atlantic University and a contributing expert to FOX News.
Dr. Phares teaches Global Strategies at the National Defense
University. He serves as the secretary general of the
Transatlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter Terrorism. Professor Phares’
is the author of two critical books on the Islamofascist threat to Western
Civilization, "Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against the West”
and "The War of Ideas: Jihadism