Would-Be Terrorists Inspired by al-Awlaki
The American-born al-Awlaki, considered by some to be the most dangerous man in the world, is believed to be the inspiration behind several plots by suspected terrorists against the U.S., including Maj. Nidal Hasan's assault on Fort Hood, the Times Square bombing plot by Faisal Shahzad and attempted Christmas Day "underwear bomb" plot by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
With the exception that his attack was to take place overseas, Kaziu appears to fit squarely into what U.S. counter-terror officials have repeatedly called one of the greatest threats to U.S. security: self-radicalized, homegrown terrorists.
"We have seen U.S. citizens become radicalized and use the Internet to further their radicalization, contribute to the radicalization of others, or provide services to facilitate Internet radicalization. Whereas the Internet was previously used to spread propaganda, it is now used in recruiting, radicalizing, training, and inciting terrorism," FBI counter-terrorism division assistant director Mark Giuliano said in April.
As part of their case against Kaziu, prosecutors presented parts of Kaziu's social networking webpage which included quotes from Osama bin Laden.
Richard Clarke, former White House counter-terrorism advisor and ABC News consultant, said Kaziu is "exactly" the type of terrorist about whom the Obama administration is most concerned.
"The focus of the new White House counter-terrorism strategy is exactly this homegrown terrorist, the lone wolf, remotely activated, inspired online" Clarke said. "They're difficult to find before they act."
Kaziu's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 4, where he could face up to life in prison.