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Queens Chronicle

Accused terrorist says he’s not guilty

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Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:00 am

One of three former classmates at Flushing High School pleaded not guilty on Friday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn to additional charges related to last year’s subway bomb plot.

Adis Medunjanin, 26, of 29-49 137th St. was in court to face new charges that included providing material support to Al Qaeda, receiving military training from a terrorist organization and conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.

He previously was charged with planning three coordinated bombings of subways in Manhattan during rush hour with Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, both of whom have been cooperating with authorities. They are awaiting sentencing. Only Medunjanin is seeking a trial.

The additional charges were based on Medunjanin trying to crash his car into another vehicle on the Whitestone Expressway in January “as a last attempt to carry out a suicide attack on American soil,” according to the FBI.

Just before crashing his car as he exited the bridge, the defendant allegedly called 911 to identify himself and announce his plan. He allegedly said: “We love death more than you love life. There is only one Allah and Muhammad,” in his message in Arabic.

Medunjanin received minor bruises from the crash and was arrested. He remains in federal custody and faces life in prison.

According to published reports, Medunjanin’s lawyer told Judge Raymond Dearie that he was preparing a motion to suppress statements his client was said to have made to authorities after his arrest because he was not given proper access to a lawyer.

Zazi and Ahmedzay both pleaded guilty for their involvement in the plot. Zazi said the plan was to kill as many New Yorkers as possible by bombing subways in Time Square and Grand Central Station.

Zazi confessed that he and his two accomplices went to Afghanistan to fight on the side of the Taliban, but were recruited as suicide bombers. Zazi, who had moved to Colorado, returned to New York last fall, but the subway plot unraveled when he realized federal agents and the NYPD were after him and he discarded the chemicals he was using to make the bombs.

Medunjanin, also known as Mohammed, is a U.S. citizen from Bosnia. He graduated from Queens College shortly before the failed bomb attack with a degree in economics.

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