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Third man pleads guilty in North Carolina case of militant case

By Ned Barnett

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - The son of a man accused of being ringleader of a North Carolina Islamic militant group pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to aiding and abetting a conspiracy to promote violent jihad abroad.

Dylan Boyd, 24, admitted his guilt as part of a plea agreement. He faces up to 15 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in December. Prosecutors said Boyd was cooperating.

"The government is very impressed with the forthcomingness of the defendant," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bowler told U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan.

Boyd has been in custody since his arrest along with six other men in July 2009. The men were charged with multiple counts related to planning to assist Islamic militants in foreign countries.

Daniel Patrick Boyd, the father of Dylan Boyd, is a Muslim convert and drywall contractor. Prosecutors said he organized a plot from his home in Willow Spring, North Carolina, near Raleigh. Prosecutors said Boyd's father was a veteran of terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Between 2006 and 2009, the indictment said, the elder Boyd conspired to recruit others "to advance violent jihad, including supporting and participating in terrorist activities abroad and committing acts of murder, kidnapping or maiming persons abroad."

The elder Boyd had been indicted for allegedly plotting an attack by the group on the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia.

Following the arrests, investigators found $13,000 in cash and a large cache of firearms at the Boyd home which "was set up like a fortress," Bowler said at the hearing.

Daniel Patrick Boyd, pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to murder kidnap, maim and injure persons in a foreign country.

Dylan Boyd's brother and co-defendant, Zakariya Boyd, pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

The trial for the remaining co-defendants in custody is scheduled to open next week in federal court in New Bern, North Carolina.

The indictment, based largely on covertly recorded conversations and reports from a confidential informant, said the defendants prepared themselves to engage in violent jihad and were willing to die as martyrs.

They were also accused of offering training in weapons and financing, and helped arrange overseas travel and contacts so others could wage violent jihad overseas.

(Edited by Cynthia Johnston and Greg McCune)

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