The 23-year-old charged with aiding overseas terror groups said at his trial that his online chatter about joining a jihad was "empty talk."
Ehsanul Islam Sadequee decided this week to represent himself at his federal trial in Atlanta.
Prosecutors say Sadequee sent homemade videos of Washington landmarks to terrorists and journeyed to Bangladesh to continue his pursuit of "violent jihad."
In a sometimes rambling, 14-minute opening statement, he said Tuesday "there is a lot of talk about doing a lot of things, but no one, in fact, did anything."
As he spoke, family members in the courtroom wept and whispered prayers.