Plotters Came ‘Within Days’ of Attack on NYC Subway

Monday, 16 Apr 2012 11:47 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A New York man helped plan a foiled suicide attack on the city’s subway system around the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a prosecutor told jurors at the start of his trial.

Adis Medunjanin, 27, and two other New York men were recruited by Adnan Shukrijumah, one of al-Qaida’s top operatives, for a planned bombing of subway lines in Manhattan in 2009, according to the U.S. government. The two other men, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, pleaded guilty in 2010.

“In September 2009, three men were prepared to strap bombs to their bodies and walk into crowded subway cars,” Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Loonam told jurors in federal court in Brooklyn Monday. “These men came so close, within days, of carrying out this act before they were stopped.”

Medunjanin, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Bosnia, was taken into custody after a Jan. 7, 2010, incident in which he swerved his silver Nissan Altima into another vehicle at more than 90 mph, followed by government agents, on an expressway in Queens, N.Y., prosecutors said. He faces as long as life in prison if convicted.

“Mr. Medunjanin never planned to bomb the New York City subways,” defense attorney Robert C. Gottlieb told the jury. “He never joined any plan to go to Afghanistan to kill members of the United States military.”

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson is presiding over the trial, which may last about three weeks.

Military Training

In August 2008, Medunjanin traveled with Ahmedzay, 27, and Zazi, 26, to join the Taliban in Pakistan, where they were recruited by al-Qaida, which gave them military training and encouraged them to conduct suicide attacks, according to prosecutors.

When pleading guilty, Ahmedzay said the three men intended to “conduct jihad against the America occupier.” Ahmedzay and Zazi, who like Medunjanin had lived in Queens, are both immigrants from Afghanistan. All three have been in custody since their arrests.

Ahmedzay, scheduled to be a government witness in the trial, said he consulted with three al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan in 2008 and that terrorist leaders at first asked him to attack “critical, well-known structures” in New York. The plan was for an attack during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, he said.

Change of Plan

He and his co-defendants decided to change the plan and attack the subway system, based on the amount of explosives Zazi decided they could produce by Ramadan, Ahmedzay said.

Ahmedzay and Zazi haven’t been sentenced yet. Both are cooperating with prosecutors.

Shukrijumah, of Saudi Arabia, was described by prosecutors as one of the “leaders of al-Qaida’s external operations program.” He has been sought by the FBI for years and remains at large.

Medunjanin is charged with 10 counts, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, al-Qaida.

In the January 2010 incident, shortly before he crashed his car, Medunjanin dialed 911 and screamed in Arabic, “We love death more than you love your life,” according to the government. The crash occurred about an hour after law enforcement officers left his home in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens following the execution of a search warrant for his passports.

Prosecutors said in a court document that Medunjanin admitted after the collision that he was trying to kill himself and others so he could “carry out an act of jihad before he was arrested.”

He tried unsuccessfully to keep the jury from hearing those statements.

The case is U.S. v. Medunjanin, 1:10-cr-00019, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).


© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Charlie Rangel: GOP Believes 'Slavery Isn't Over'

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 23:09 PM

Rep. Charlie Rangel on Thursday likened Republicans to Confederates from the Civil War era, charging that they "believe  . . .

New York Archdiocese to Reorganize, Merge Parishes

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 22:51 PM

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York will merge more than 50 parishes because of lower attendance and rising expen . . .

Michelle Bachmann: World Sees US Has No Plan to Fight Terrorism

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 21:56 PM

The world has no confidence in U.S. leadership because they don't know what our plans to fight terrorism are, Rep. Miche . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved