In news this week, a 23-year-old from Marine Park, Betim Kaziu, the son of Yugoslavian immigrants, was convicted in federal court at Cadman Plaza of terrorism charges for trying to join Al Qaeda overseas. He was captured in Kosovo.
The conviction came after Kaziu’s childhood friend, who travelled overseas with him on a trip that was to take them eventually to Somalia, had a change of heart and became the lead witness for the United States in the case.
Testimony in the case indicated the two boys grew disaffected in high school and were inspired by Omar Hammami, known as Abu Mansur al-Amriki, or “the American.” Hammami preaches for muslims to join the Somalian militant group al-Shabab, and apparently offers daughters and crops for men who want to get married.
Read more about the case here.