TerrorismNYC bomb plotter sentenced to life

Published 19 November 2012

Adis Medunjanin, a 34-year old Bosnian-born U.S. citizen has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in a plot to bomb the New York subway; he was convicted in May of multiple U.S. terrorism offences, including conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction; two former schoolmates who helped Medunjanin to plan the attack had pleaded guilty and testified against him

Adis Medunjanin, sentenced to life in prison // Source: tbck.vn

Adis Medunjanin, a 34-year old Bosnian-born U.S. citizen has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in a plot to bomb the New York subway. He was convicted in May of multiple U.S. terrorism offences, including conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.

Two former schoolmates who helped Medunjanin to plan the attack had pleaded guilty and testified against him.

The three men were trained by al Qaeda in Pakistan before agreeing to participate in the plot.

The attack was planned to coincide around the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but was foiled when the three noticed that law enforcement officials were following them.

Medunjanin was arrested in January 2010 after deliberately trying to crash his car on a busy New York expressway in what prosecutors said was a final attempt at committing murder for his cause.

The New York Times reports that Medunjanin, during his appearing at a U.S. court in New York, read from the Koran in Arabic for several minutes before Judge John Gleeson interrupted and asked him whether he intended to say anything in English. Medunjanin asked for more time to finish one verse, then shifted into a critique of American foreign policy.

He also maintained his innocence, saying he had “nothing to do with any subway plot or bombing plot whatsoever.”

Judge Gleeson told Medunjanin his remarks made him appear like an robotic “exhibit” of extremism, and had created “the impression that you’re asking me to sentence you like the committed, anti-American jihadist you seem to want to be for the rest of your life.”

Medunjanin showed no emotion as the sentence was announced. His family declined to speak to reporters as they left the sentencing.

During the trial, Najibullah Zazi, who admitted masterminding the plot, and Zarein Ahmedzay, who were both went to high school with Medunjanin, testified against him, in hopes of lighter sentences. They revealed that in 2008 they had travelled to South Waziristan, Pakistan, with Medunjanin. They were trained by members of al Qaeda and were encouraged to plan suicide-bombing missions when they returned home.

The two told the court that they had considered targeting the New York Stock Exchange, Times Square, and Grand Central station.

Zazi testified that they had settled on targeting New York’s subway trains at rush hour because it was “the heart of everything in New York City.”

He said he had learned to distil ingredients for explosives from products such as nail varnish remover that are sold at pharmacies.

Zazi also told the jury that they dropped the plot, which was partly paid for with $50,000 in credit card charges, when he noticed a car following him in New York. “I think law enforcement is on us,” Zazi remembered telling Ahmedzay. He said he sent a text message to Medunjanin that said: “We are done.”

Zazi and Ahmedzay are awaiting their sentencing hearings, scheduled for next year.

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