Authorities say Daniel Boyd is a veteran terrorist who trained at camps in Pakistan and was the ringleader of a North Carolina-based group of men who sought to wage "violent jihad."
But Boyd's wife says her husband is not a homegrown terrorist — he's a good family man, a father who cares about people.
"We're an ordinary family. We have the right to justice, and we believe that justice will prevail," Sabrina Boyd said Tuesday in a prepared statement. "We are decent people who care about other human beings."
Also Tuesday, the feds said an eighth member of the alleged network is still at large. That person is believed to be in Pakistan, according to a law enforcement official who wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.
Two of the Boyds' sons are among the seven currently charged in the terrorism conspiracy case, and their mother defended them too.
"Just because something is said in the media does not make it so," she said. "I have raised my sons to be good people, and we are a good family."
Sabrina Boyd denied her husband trained at terror camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan 20 years ago, as the government charges, and asked the public to refrain from "a rush to judgment," FOX's WRAL reported.
Instead, she says, Boyd was in Afghanistan fighting against the Soviet Union "with the full backing of the United States government."
U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding declined to discuss the alleged eighth suspect's whereabouts but said the public should not be worried.
"Federal authorities hope to have him apprehended shortly," Holding said. Holding wouldn't identify the person, and the defendant's name is redacted from court papers.
Boyd, his two sons and four other men living in North Carolina are accused of military-style training at home and plotting jihad abroad, federal authorities said. They were arrested Monday.
Neighbors have said the Boyds showed no sign of violence and were often seen walking their dog around the lakeside cul-de-sac in a rural area south of Raleigh.
Officials say Boyd lived in an unassuming lakeside home in a rural area south of Raleigh, where he and his family walked their dog and operated a drywall business.
"They were great neighbors. We never had any trouble with them. Their kids played with our kids," Heather Roegner told WYFF4 in North Carolina.
Jim Stephenson, a neighbor of Patrick Boyd in Willow Spring, said he saw the Boyd family walking their dog in the neighborhood. He said the indictment shocked the residents.
"We never saw anything to give any clues that something like that could be going on in their family," Stephenson said.
The indictment says the unnamed defendant is a U.S. citizen who went to Pakistan in October 2008 to "engage in violent jihad." It does not say whether the person returned to the United States. Holding declined to discuss the person's whereabouts but said the public should not be worried.
Court records indicate Boyd was a veteran of terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan who fought against the Soviet Union.
The seven men are charged with providing material support to terrorism. If convicted, they could face life in prison.
The indictment said Boyd, a U.S. citizen, trained in Afghanistan and fought there between 1989 and 1992 before returning to the United States. Court documents charged that Boyd, also known as 'Saifullah,' encouraged others to engage in jihad.
Boyd's faith was so brash that, this year, he stopped attending worship services in the Raleigh area and instead began meeting for Friday prayers in his home.
"This is not an indictment of the entire Muslim community," Holding said. "These people had broken away because their local mosque did not follow their vision of being a good Muslim."
In 1991, Boyd and his brother were convicted of bank robbery in Pakistan — accused of carrying identification showing they belonged to the radical Afghan guerrilla group, Hezb-e-Islami, or Party of Islam.
They were each sentenced to have a foot and a hand cut off for the robbery, but the sentenced was later overturned.
The wives of the men told The Associated Press that the couples have U.S. roots but the United States was a country of "kafirs" — Arabic for heathens.
Two of the suspects are Boyd's sons: Zakariya Boyd, 20 and Dylan Boyd, 22. The others are Anes Subasic, 33; Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22; and Ziyad Yaghi, 21.
Hysen Sherifi, 24, a native of Kosovo and a U.S. legal permanent also was charged in the case. He was the only person arrested who was not a U.S. citizen.
The suspects face charges of providing material support to terrorism and "conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.