Bosnian born Queens terrorist Adis Medunjanin, 34, was sentenced to life in prison for multiple terrorism offenses, after the Flushing resident joined al Qaeda and then plotted and attempted suicide attacks.
Medunjanin and accomplices were days away from executing suicide bombings in the New York City subway system in September 2009, directed by senior al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. The plot was foiled, leading Medunjanin to crash his car on the Whitestone Expressway in a last-ditch suicide attack attempt.
In 2008, Medunjanin and his co-plotters, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, traveled to Afghanistan to join the Taliban in its fight against U.S. forces, but Medunjanin and Ahmedzay were turned back at the Afghanistan border, remaining in Pesahwar, Pakistan.
Medunjanin, Zazi, and Ahmedzay instead traveled to Waziristan for terrorist training. They met with al Qaeda leaders Saleh al-Somali, then the head of al Qaeda external operations, and Rashid Rauf, a high-ranking al-Qaeda operative.
The three ultimately agreed to carry out suicide bombings during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, which fell in late August and September 2009.
Zazi agreed to prepare the explosives, bringing a cache of materials from Denver, which was eventually ditched when their trail grew too hot, and all three agreed to conduct coordinated suicide bombings.
In January 2010, law enforcement searched Medunjanin’s apartment while the convicted terrorist was trying to turn his car into a weapon by crashing it into another car at high speed on the Whitestone Expressway.
Medunjanin called 911 right before impact leaving a message of martyrdom, shouting the al Qaeda slogan, “We love death more than you love your life.”
A jury convicted him of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, kill military personnel, supporting al Qaeda, receiving military training form the terrorist group, attempting to commit an act of terrorism and the illegal use of explosives.
“Adis Medunjanin sought martyrdom for himself and death for innocent New Yorkers as part of al Qaeda’s plan to spread terror within our shores. Instead, he will now spend the rest of his life where he belongs, behind bars,” United States Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.