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Queens Chronicle

New terrorism charges against Flushing man

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Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:00 am

A Flushing man linked to admitted terrorist Najibullah Zazi in the thwarted subway attacks last fall has received new charges in his pending indictment.

Adis Medunjanin, 25, of 29-49 137th St., is already in custody on the original charges. Last week, the FBI announced additional charges for 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 release.

Just before crashing his car as he exited the Whitestone Bridge, Medunjanin 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.

He received minor bruises from the crash and was arrested by FBI agents. He remains in federal custody, with no trial date announced yet.

The new indictment charges Medunjanin, in conjunction with the subway plot, with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction; conspiring to commit murder abroad; providing and conspiring to provide material support to al Qaida; receiving military training from al Qaida; committing and attempting to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries; and using firearms and a destructive device in relation to the above offenses.

If found guilty, Medunjanin faces life in prison.

Zazi, who admitted his guilt, attended Flushing High School with Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay, another conspirator, who also pleaded guilty. Zazi said the plan was to kill as many New Yorkers as possible by bombing the subway system 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.

The Justice Department also announced last week that the subway attack plot was directed by senior al Qaida leadership in Pakistan and was related to a scheme by al Qaida to use western operatives to attack a target in the United Kingdom.

“These charges underscore the global nature of the terrorist threat we face,” said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security. “They further reflect the effectiveness of mutual investigations and cooperation with our global partners in disrupting terrorism threats.”

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