New York jihadist faces life term

July 8th, 2011 - 10:56 am ICT by IANS  

New York, July 8 (IANS) A US-born jihadi, who wanted to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, was convicted here Wednesday.

Betim Kaziu, a 23-year-old Brooklyn man, was convicted by a federal jury for trying to join Islamic militant groups and plotting to provide them material support to attack US forces deployed abroad.

Like Pakistani-born Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad who was jailed for life, Kazia also faces life behind bars when the court sentences him in autumn.

During his two-week trial, the jury found Kaziu guilty of plotting to commit murder in a foreign country and provide material support to terrorists.

Kaziu showed no emotion after the verdict even as one of his sisters began to cry. Instead, he smiled and waved while being escorted out of the courtroom by US Marshals, according to the New York Post.

He was convicted after his former friend and fellow jihadi Sulejmah Hadzovic turned witness against him and testified about Kaziu’s avowed radicalism.

Kaziu, who was radicalized by the al-Qaeda propaganda on the Internet, went to Cairo in February 2009 to try to join Al-Shabbab and then traveled to Kosovo where he was arrested and handed over to the FBI.

Assistant US Attorney Seth DuCharme said Kaziu wanted to die a martyr for “the cause of Islam” by fighting US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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