Feds rest case against NC man in terror case
RALEIGH -- Jurors in a murder-for-hire trial against Hysen Sherifi saw gruesome pictures of a victim in a shallow grave and another with his head cut off Wednesday.
However, the pictures were fakes which FBI agents created after one of the men convicted in the Triangle Terror case allegedly approached an informant.
The pictures were apparently real enough to convince Hysen Sherifi that the "hit" had gone down as planned.
Sherifi is representing himself. Wednesday afternoon he sat in a federal courtroom and listened as his brother testified against him.
Shkumbin Sherifi told jurors he, at first, didn't want any part of a murder for hire plot. He said his brother convinced him that three men who helped convict Hysen of terrorism should be killed to save their family's honor.
Shkumbin Sherifi has pleaded guilty to conspiracy along with Nevine Aly Elshiekh, who was then a teacher at a private school in Cary.
She also testified Wednesday afternoon. Her attorney said she was seduced and conned by Hysen Sherifi.
"He destroyed his brother. He destroyed a woman who reached out to him. He destroyed his family. This is about a truly evil man in this part," said Elshiekh's attorney, Charles Swift. "There are a lot of difficult questions in this country about terrorism. There's a lot of difficult questions, but we don't need to lose sight of the fact that some of the people are truly evil, and he truly was one of, is one of those people."
Hysen asked his brother only two questions on cross-examination.
To the first question about who made the audio recordings, Shkumin Sherifi answered, "the FBI."
Then Hysen said, "How does that make you guilty?"
Hysen Sherifi may be watching what little is left of his trial on a video monitor in lock-up.
The judge had him thrown out of the courtroom after he went on an Islamic rant rather than presenting a closing argument on Wednesday afternoon.
That means Hysen Sherifi will be watching what little is left of his trial on a monitor in a cell, if he doesn't behave in court Thursday, which is when the jury will begin deliberations.
Sherifi is serving 45 years in prison after he was convicted last year in a terror plot that aimed to kill U.S. troops.
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