by Eden Pecha
The trial began Monday for three young men suspected in a 2009 suicide bombing attempt of multiple New York City subway stations. Two of the suspects, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, pled guilty and agreed to testify against Adis Medunjanin, 28, a U.S. citizen born in Bosnia. Medunjanin has denied the charges, and his defense lawyer says he backed out of the plot with his two friends.
Prosecutors say that in 2008 the three men, who were friends in high school, traveled to Pakistan where they were trained by Al-Qaida operatives and were approached about being suicide bombers. They were seeking retaliation for the treatment of Muslims in the United States, prosecutors say.
In September 2009, around the time of the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Zazi was arrested after driving into Manhattan with a detonator and materials to build an explosive device. Medunjanin was arrested in early 2010 after he tried to crash his car – prosecutors called the crash a failed suicide attempt. At the trial prosecutors presented recordings of 911 emergency calls in which they say Medunjanin identified himself, made jihadist statements, and declared “We love death” immediately before the crash.
Zazi and Ahmedzay have not yet been sentenced. If convicted, Medunjanin faces up to life in prison.
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