© The Associated Press / U.S. Attorney's OfficeThis undated photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office shows Betim Kaziu. Kaziu has been charged with plotting to provide support to overseas terrorists and the star witness against him is his former friend who has pleaded guilty to the charges.
A Brooklyn-born man was convicted Thursday of terror charges for traveling to the Middle East to avenge abuse of Muslims in a trial that featured the testimony of a would-be terrorist and childhood friend of the defendant who became a government cooperator.
The jury deliberated less than four hours before finding Betim Kaziu guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization, conspiracy to commit murder and other charges. Kaziu had denied ever being a threat. He faces a maximum of life in prison at his Nov. 4 sentencing.
"Through our judicial system, we have brought to justice a homegrown terrorist who conspired to kill U.S. troops overseas," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in statement. "We are committed to using all available tools to combat terrorism wherever it threatens our citizens and our country."
Unlike the cases of Najibullah Zazi, mastermind of a foiled suicide attack on New York City subways, or Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomber, Kaziu's suspected exploits received little attention, in part because the plot didn't get far. But his case had many of the same themes of homegrown terrorism.
Prosecutors alleged that Kaziu, 23, and star witness Sulejah Hadzovic - two U.S.-born sons of Islamic immigrants from the former Yugoslavia who met in sixth grade - traveled to Cairo in 2009 in hopes of taking up arms against U.S. troops.
The New York Daily News published some of the inflammatory rhetoric spewed by Kaziu in the martyrdom video he made on the Albanian coast. link
"I came here with the brothers to chill before I, God willing, depart," Kaziu said as he stood on a cliff above the sea.
Yeah, the guy sounds like a real killer. Sheesh...
One can also find a poem written by Kaziu here
. It gives us a glimpse into the mind of this man accused of being a wannabe terrorist. Read it for yourself and see if you find any hint of terrorism in this man's words:
" Allah ordered us to put our trust in Him
To testify La illaha il Allah and abstain from sin
To not make mischief and not take others as our savior
To abstain from zina and to be good to our neighbor
He gave us a book wherein is guidance and a way of life
Which we must follow and hold onto it tight
In return he promises mercy and gardens of delight."