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U.S. charges seven with plotting attacks overseas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities on Monday arrested seven people from North Carolina who have been charged with plotting to carry out terrorist attacks overseas, including in Kosovo, Jordan and the Gaza Strip.

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U.S. prosecutors said the ringleader of the group, Daniel Patrick Boyd, trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan from 1989 to 1992 and used that experience to set up his own organization to train fighters, raise money and carry out attacks abroad.

A U.S. official told reporters that there was no indication that Boyd’s group was connected with an international militant organization or that they were planning attacks in the United States.

In the seven-count indictment unsealed on Monday in Raleigh, North Carolina, authorities accused Boyd and others, including his two sons, of traveling to Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan and Kosovo to plan or engage in attacks.

“These charges hammer home the point that terrorists and their supporters are not confined to the remote regions of some far away land but can grow and fester right here at home,” said George E.B. Holding, the U.S. attorney for eastern North Carolina.

All seven face up to life in prison if convicted.

They were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad. Boyd and others also face weapons charges.

Additionally, the indictment accused Boyd and several of the others in the group with practicing with weapons they acquired -- mostly rifles and armor-piercing bullets according to the U.S. official -- and trying out military-style maneuvers.

The indictment, which says the defendants engaged in the activities starting in late 2006 through this month, did not accuse the group of carrying out any attacks.

Those indicted beside Boyd were named as Hysen Sherifi, Anes Subasic, Zakariya Boyd, Dylan Boyd, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan and Ziyad Yaghi.

Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Mohammad Zargham