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Two Indicted In Foiled NYC Subway Bomb Plot Case

Two high school classmates of admitted terrorist were indicted Thursday in a foiled scheme to bomb

New York City subways that a prosecutor said was directed by" al-Qaida leadership."

Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin, both 25, pleaded not guiltyin federal court in Brooklyn to charges of conspiracy to useweapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in aforeign country and providing material support to the al-Qaidaterrorist network.

Zazi, a former Colorado airport shuttle driver who attended highschool in Queens, pleaded guilty to similar charges this week. Zaziwas arrested in September after he drove cross-country from Denverto New York, where authorities said he abandoned the bombing planafter realizing authorities were watching him.

Ahmedzay and Medunjanin are accused of plotting "threecoordinated suicide bombing attacks" on Manhattan subway linesthat were timed for one of three days after the eighth anniversaryof the Sept. 11 attacks, at the beginning of the work week,Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Knox said.

The attacks were planned to resemble the July 2005 bombings onthe London transit system, Knox said. Four suicide bombers killed52 people and themselves in an attack on three subway trains and abus in London.

The operation was "undertaken at the direction and under thecontrol of al-Qaida leadership," Knox said.

During the short hearing, U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearieasked prosecutors if they expected more defendants in the case."Likely, although probably from overseas," Knox responded.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said this week that Zazi and twoother bombers planned to kill as many people as possible. He didn'tname the two other suspects but said the plot had been disrupted.

Authorities have said the plot was one of the most seriousterrorism threats in the U.S. since the 2001 terrorist attack.

"This attack would have been deadly," Attorney General EricHolder said.

Authorities have told The Associated Press that Zazi wascooperating with federal investigators before his guilty pleas thisweek. Asked whether Zazi would testify against his client,Ahmedzay's attorney Michael Marinaccio said: "That's a likelyscenario."

Medunjanin and Ahmedzay - who authorities say traveled to

Pakistan with Zazi in 2008 to join the Taliban - had already facedcharges in the alleged plot.

Medunjanin has pleaded not guilty to charges he conspired tokill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. His lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb,said this week he didn't know whether Zazi told prosecutorsanything about his client but Zazi's decision to plead guilty"obviously affects the overall prosecution."

Ahmedzay has pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to the

FBI during the probe about places he visited during the 2008 trip.

Zazi's uncle, father and a Queens imam face lesser charges inthe case.


Associated Press writer Pete Yost in Washington contributed tothis report.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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