NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Three high school classmates stand accused in a plot to bomb the New York City subway system. One of them is now on trial in Brooklyn.
As a stoic Adis Medunjanin looked on, one of his alleged partners, Zareim Ahmedzay, told jurors on Monday that Medunjanin was a willing participant in the terrorist plot against New York City, reported CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
“He had agreed to be one of the suicide bombers,” was the testimony. “He said we should carry out the operation during the month of Ramadan.”
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports
Ahmedzay said he, Medunjanin and Najibullah Zazi, all former Flushing High School classmates, watched martyrdom videos of previous terrorist attacks at an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan, and discussed bombing Times Square, Grand Central Terminal and the New York Stock Exchange before settling on a rush hour subway suicide bombing to take place in September of 2009, prosecutors said. The trio was to wear vests filled with explosives, and all were prepared to kill themselves and everyone else around them — men, women, and children.
But during opening arguments, defense attorney Robert Gottlieb accused the government of using inflammatory rhetoric about al Qaeda and terrorism to prevent jurors from seeing the truth about this case.
“We’re going to make it very clear, he’s not a terrorist. The government is wrong. He’s not guilty,” Gottlieb said.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case
Gottlieb said the naturalized U.S. citizen joined the Taliban to defend a Muslim faith he felt was under attack and had no intention of killing anyone.
However, testimony on the stand contradicted that.
“He said he loved death more than he loved life,” Ahmedzay said.
When the prosecutor asked, “did the defendant have any hesitation about conducting the attack?” the answer was an immediate no.
As they got closer to the attacks, the trio discovered police were on to them, so the suicide attack was scrapped.”
“What was the defendant’s reaction?” asked the prosecutor.
“He was OK with this,” Ahmedzay answered.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service disclosed that it has struck a rare deal with a convicted terrorist to offer evidence in Medunjanin’s trial.
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