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Man accused in overseas murder conspiracy

Sept. 24, 2009 at 2:01 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- A New York man was indicted Thursday for allegedly conspiring to commit murder overseas and helping terrorists, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The indictment alleges Betim Kaziu, a U.S. citizen, traveled abroad to try to join several terrorist groups, including al-Shabbab, a Somali group with ties to al-Qaida that is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, the department said in a release. He also allegedly tried to travel to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans to fight against U.S. armed forces.

He was arrested in Kosovo by Kosovar law enforcement authorities in late August.

"This case is a textbook example of a successful international effort to investigate and apprehend those who would engage in terrorist acts and pre-empt their plots," said Benton J. Campbell, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. "We will spare no effort in this pursuit."

Campbell said the government of Kosovo, the U.S. State Department, and Justice Department's Office of International Affairs were involved in the investigation.

If convicted of conspiracy to commit murder overseas, Kaziu could be sentenced to life in prison, the Justice Department said. If he is convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, Kaziu could receive a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

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