A Brooklyn man was arraigned Thursday on charges that he conspired to commit murder overseas and provide materials to terrorists.
Betim Kaziu, a United States citizen and Brooklyn resident, is accused of traveling abroad with the intentions of killing "perceived enemies of Islam."
The indictment also charges that during his travels in January 2009, the 21-year-old attempted to join the radical fighter group Al-Shabbab and tried to purchase weapons to help fight U.S. armed forces.
He was arrested in Kosovo in August.
Family and friends who live in the same Ocean Parkway apartment building as Kaziu say he was on his way to visit family in Albania and that authorities have it all wrong.
"I don't know where they're getting this from. But I doubt he went for that reason. He was studying the Koran and he was studying to be a teacher for the less fortunate who couldn't afford to go to school," said Kaziu's friend, Ariana Sokoli.
"What you know and how he is is totally different. He is the type of kid who would never resort to violence. He'd tell us in the past not to fight. He wouldn't lay a hand on anyone. He is totally against violence," said Kaziu's friend, Oriola Sokoli.
If convicted of conspiracy to commit murder overseas, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. If convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, Kaziu face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
He's being held without bail because authorities say he is a flight risk.
While Kaziu's indictment was announced the same day that a Colorado man was indicted on charges of planning to detonate weapons of mass destruction, it is unclear at this time if the two incidents are related.