NEW YORK—Adis Medunjanin, 27, of Queens is suspected of plotting to bomb New York City’s subways in 2009. He went on trial in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday.
Medunjanin pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, both of which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
His alleged co-conspirators are childhood friends from Queens, Zarein Ahmedzay and Najibullah Zazi. They are also charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization, al-Qaeda (maximum sentence of 15 years); receiving military-type training from the organization (maximum 10 years); and failing to disclose information to the FBI about their travels to Pakistan and Afghanistan (maximum 8 years).
The three co-conspirators “were prepared to kill themselves and everyone else around them—men, women and children,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Loonam in his opening remarks, according to an AP report.
Defense attorney Robert Gottlieb denied that his client planned to harm American civilians, while admitting he sought to support Taliban forces against the American military presence in Afghanistan, reported AP on Monday.