Authorities believe Daniel Patrick Boyd used tales of fighting the Soviets alongside the mujahedeen to recruit followers into a North Carolina terrorism ring.
But U.S. officials who worked in the Middle East while Boyd was there say his stories may be embellished, at best.
The former officials questioned whether Boyd had any affiliation with the Islamic guerrillas, noting the Soviets had all but left Afghanistan by the time the blond Muslim convert arrived from America two decades ago.
Boyd's stories were part of indictment accusing him and seven followers of violent jihad overseas. The indictment claims some of the men were training in military-style tactics and that all were plotting to kill, kidnap and maim in a holy war overseas.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)