He took the nickname Talib Islam (student of Islam) after converting to the Islamic faith while in prison from 2001 - 2006 on charges of aggravated robbery and battery. The FBI claimed it found a document he wrote about "awaiting a return letter from John Walker Lindh." Called an "American Taliban," he was captured, held and tortured in Afghanistan in 2001 based on false charges that he was a Taliban terrorist fighting US forces. In fact, he only arrived in the country four weeks before 9/11 to help the Taliban against the Afghan warlords supported by Washington.
FBI agents arranged a sting to entrap Finton and succeeded like against the Fort Dix Five and many others. Yet according to prosecutors, he "hope(d) that (his alleged attack) would cause American troops to be pulled back out of Afghanistan and Iraq," said the bombing would be a "historic occasion (to achieve his) biggest dream (of) bringing down the US government," and that he would be "rewarded for his intentions."
Yet court papers said he was suspicious about being "set up," but apparently not clever enough to avoid being manipulated to carry out the alleged plot he's now charged with. An employee at the federal building in question, a Mr. Meng, was "remind(ed that) there are evil people out there." True enough, but not the ones he imagines.
Betim Kaziu - The FBI's Sixth Top Story for the Week Ending September 25, 2009
On September 24, an FBI press release announced "An indictment....charging Betim Kaziu, a US citizen and resident of Brooklyn, with conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists."
Allegedly, "in early January 2009, (he) devised a plan to travel abroad for the purpose of joining a radical foreign fighter group and to take up arms against perceived enemies of Islam. Kaziu allegedly boarded a flight at John F. Kennedy Airport on Feb. 19, 2009, and traveled to Cairo, Egypt, where he took steps to continue on to Pakistan to obtain training and other support for violent activities....(He) also attempted to join Al-Shabbab, a radicalized, militant (pro-Al-Queda) insurgency group (now) designated as a terrorist organization by the United States Department of State."
In addition, "Kaziu made efforts to travel to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Balkans to fight against US armed forces (and on multiple occasions attempted) to purchase weapons in Egypt. Untimately, Kaziu traveled to Kosovo where he was arrested by Kosovar law enforcement authorities in late August 2009." Afterwards, he told his family that he was visiting a friend when the house was raided, and the weapons seized belonged to his friend's father.
On September 24, Ray Rivera headlined his New York Times article, "Brooklyn Man Is Accused of Trying to Aid Terrorists," according to an indictment unsealed in Federal District Court. Yet family members expressed shock, his sister, Sihana saying "This is totally unlike him. (He) has a big heart" and was never violent.
Kaziu's case is similar to the first indictment against Daniel Patrick Boyd and the other North Carolina 7 defendants. The DOJ indictment claimed that from 1989 - 1992, Boyd got "violent jihad" training abroad and "allegedly fought in Afghanistan" against the Soviets. Then from November 2006 through July 2009, he and the others "conspired to provide material support and resources to terrorists, including currency, training, transportation and personnel" plus other charges.
Federal authorities accused them of "loving jihad, fighting for Allah, and loathing a US military presence at Muslim holy sites." Self-styled terrorism expert and notorious Islamophobe Steven Emerson highlighted the charges and claimed the FBI "found a fatwa, or religious edict, in Boyd's house saying Muslims have 'an individual duty to kill Americans and their allies.' "
Of course, Emerson, others on the far right, and the DOJ are notorious for manipulating, doctoring, or inventing evidence to target innocent Muslims, incite fear, and intimidate juries to convict. The charges against Kaziu are as likely bogus as the ones above and against numerous other victims targeted for their faith, ethnicity, prominence and charity. It's the wrong time to be Muslim in America and vital to know that we're all equally vulnerable.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.