Al Qaeda affiliated bomb plotter found guilty
A U.S. citizen born in Bosnia was found guilty by a federal judge on Tuesday for planning a suicide bomb attack in New York’s subway system in 2009 as an al Qaeda terrorist.
Adis Medunjanin, 28, has been found guilty on nine charges, including a plot to use weapons of mass destruction on American soil, plot to murder U.S soldiers and supporting a foreign terrorist organization, CNN and Reuters reported. His sentencing, where he could face a maximum of life in prison, is scheduled for September 7.
According to the prosecutors, Medunjanin tried to join the Taliban but became affiliated with al Qaeda after being recruited by them to perform a suicide mission in the United States. Medubjanin and his two friends, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, had planned to rig backpacks with explosives and blow them up upon their arrival in New York after being in Pakistan’s tribal region, CNN reported.
Both of Medunjani’s friends testified against him and pleaded guilty to planning “one of the most serious terrorists threats,” the U.S. had faced since September 11, 2001, according to U.S Attorney General Eric Holder in a Reuters report. Both are awaiting sentencing.
“His conviction stands as a stark reminder of terrorists’ desire long after 9/11 to return to the city to kill more New Yorkers,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
According to Robert Gottlieb, Medunjanin’s attorney, Medunjanin never intended to follow through with the plan and that his only goal was to fight for the protection of his Islamic faith.
“They wanted to fulfill some romantic version of jihad,” Gottlieb said.
Despite being found guilty on all accounts, Gottlieb said the case highlighted the importance of having a case tried before a jury rather than in a military tribunal, Reuters reported.