November 8th, 2012
04:30 PM ET

Convicted terrorist guilty of plotting murder-for-hire from behind bars

By Carol Cratty

A convicted terrorist was found guilty Thursday in North Carolina of plotting to kill witnesses who testified against him at his terror trial.


Hysen Sherifi, 28, was found guilty in Raleigh on nine counts of conspiring with his brother and a female friend to hire someone to kill the witnesses in retaliation for their 2011 trial testimony. Sherifi directed the plot from behind bars, prosecutors said.

"The trial evidence and testimony proved that from November 2011 through January 2012, Sherifi conspired to pay a hit man to murder and behead three witnesses and three law enforcement officers who testified against him," according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Prosecutors said Sherifi wanted revenge, hoped to get his conviction overturned and wanted to help one of his alleged terrorism conspirators who had not yet gone to trial.

The scheme was foiled as a result of a sting operation. In October 2011, Sherifi asked a fellow inmate in his North Carolina jail how to hire someone to commit the murders, according to testimony. The inmate told his lawyer and federal law enforcement officers about what Sherifi was up to. The government then secretly taped conversations between Sherifi and his fellow inmate in which Sherifi talked about wanting the witnesses killed.

Meanwhile, Sherifi enlisted the help of his brother, Shkumbin Sherifi, and a female friend named Nevine Elshiekh to raise money for a hit man and to relay messages, prosecutors said.

They gave $5,000 to a middleman to deliver to a hit man, but the middleman was working with law enforcement agencies.

As part of the law enforcement sting, staged photos purporting to show that one of the witnesses had been killed were shown to Sherifi, prosecutors said.

Shkumbin Sherifi and Elshiekh were indicted in February. They made plea agreements with the government and testified against Hysen Sherifi at trial.

Hysen Sherifi acted as his own lawyer at trial. According to the Raleigh News Observer, on the last day of his trial Sherifi got into a bit of a confrontation with the judge because he kept talking about religion, saying such things as "all judgment belongs only to Allah."

Sherifi, a native of Kosovo, was found guilty in October 2011 of being part of a North Carolina terrorism ring led by Daniel Patrick Boyd. Sherifi was convicted on multiple charges including conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people in a foreign country, conspiracy to kill a federal officer, material support for terrorism and federal firearms violations.

According to prosecutors, Sherifi and Boyd had discussed attacking the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia. Sherifi, Boyd and other conspirators were arrested and charged in 2009.

Sherifi had been sentenced to 45 years after his terrorism convictions. As a result of being found guilty in the murder-for-hire scheme, he will face a maximum penalty of life in prison when he's sentenced in February.

Boyd ended up pleading guilty and cooperated with the government in its cases against other conspirators. In February 2011 Boyd was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Two of his sons also pleaded guilty

Three other members of the North Carolina terror ring were convicted at trial. Another suspect remains at large overseas.

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Filed under: Legal • Living With Terror • Marines • Terrorism
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  32. Jaimie

    Throw away the key.

    March 13, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  33. Dr. Dot

    Oh, and one more thing: had he actually managed to get one of them killed, it would have been an all-but automatic death sentence.

    January 22, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  34. Gary Gilmore

    Call Islam a "religion of peace" only if you want me to punch you in the face.

    November 20, 2012 at 1:17 am | Reply
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      November 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
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      Aren't you, like, dead?

      January 22, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  35. nijazi

    Dear buddies, this idiot's homeland is more than 99,99% pro-American one. He is an exeption

    November 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  36. ma & pa

    fthst...why are these people, who for centuries have been using conspiracy and murder instead of reason to solve their their differences, allowed to be in this mostly peaceful country?

    November 9, 2012 at 2:09 am | Reply
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    god save his ass, literally, from inmates.

    November 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  38. adam4x4

    Maybe in his homeland surrounded by desert and camel dung this guy is considered intelligent. In the real world he is an idiot!!!

    November 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
    • deedee

      FYI: Kosvo is NOT surrounded by a desert and camel dungs. Kosva is in Europe.

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        all muhammed worshipers come from places surrounded by desert and camel dung dee dee.

        November 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm |

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