Strange Coincidence With a TerroristJuly 29, 2009 - 1:45 PM | by: Jennifer Griffin
Imagine my surprise when I learned that the guy indicted in North Carolina as part of a terror cell plotting to carry out jihad abroad went to the high school up the street from my childhood home. In fact Daniel Boyd would have graduated a year after me if I had graduated from TC Williams.
I soon realized how closely our lives had moved in parallel:
He went to TC Williams High School – in Alexandria, Virginia – until now better known as the high school featured in the movie “Remember the Titans” starring Denzel Washington – the uplifting story of a high school football coach who integrated TC’s football team and led the team to victory in the 1970s.)
He probably graduated in 1988 given his age. (I went to a neighboring girls school but many of my friends went to TC.)
Then he pops up in Pakistan where he went to fight alongside the mujahideen as they tackled the Soviets. In 1991 he and his brother are arrested for a bank robbery in Peshawar and sentenced to lose their right hands and left feet, They are then given a reprieve and returns to the US.
(I moved to Pakistan in the early 1990s as a journalist – and covered the mujahideen and rise of the Taliban. The first World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef was caught near my house.)
Then low and behold the indictment says Boyd and one of his sons ended up in the Gaza Strip in July 2006 – around the same time that our colleagues Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were kidnapped by a radical Islamic group.
We then learn that the Israeli authorities blocked him from entering Israel and may have been the ones to alert the authorities to his links to radical Islam.
(I lived in Israel from 1999 – 2007)
How similar yet different our paths were in the end. And, no, he never asked me to Prom.
We are currently staking out the house of his mom and stepdad in Silver Spring, MD. Will keep you posted – looking for his yearbook now.