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Two of Zazi's friends charged in subway terror plot

Najibullah Zazi has been charged with conspiring to detonate bombs in New York City.
February 25, 2010 7:58:11 AM PST
Two friends of Najibullah Zazi, who pleaded guilty to participating in a plot to bomb the New York City subway system in September of 2009, have been indicted for their roles in the plot. The Justice Department on Thursday announced that a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York has returned an indictment charging Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin with terrorism violations.

Ahmedzay, 25, a U.S. citizen and resident of Queens, was previously indicted on Jan. 8, 2010 in the Eastern District of New York on charges of making material false statements to the FBI about his travels to Pakistan and Afghanistan and about his conversations with a fellow traveler.

Medunjanin, 25, also a U.S. citizen and resident of Queens. was previously indicted on Jan. 8, 2010 in the Eastern District of New York on charges of conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and receiving military-type training from a foreign terrorist organization, namely al-Qaeda.

The five-count indictment charges both Ahmedzay and Medunjanin with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction (explosive bombs) against persons or property in the United States. Specifically, they are charged with conspiring with Zazi to conduct an attack on Manhattan subway lines that would take place on Sept. 14, Sept. 15 or Sept. 16, 2009. The maximum statutory penalty for this offense is life in prison.

"The facts alleged in this indictment shed further light on the scope of this attempted attack and underscore the importance of using every tool we have available to both disrupt plots against our nation and hold suspected terrorists accountable for their actions," Attorney General Eric Holder. "This attack would have been deadly, and the many agents, prosecutors and intelligence professionals who worked together seamlessly to thwart it deserve our thanks."

Both defendants are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country. Specifically, the indictment alleges that on or about Aug. 28, 2008, both Ahmedzay and Medunjanin accompanied Zazi on a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., to Peshawar, Pakistan, in furtherance of the conspiracy. The maximum statutory penalty for this offense is life in prison.

The indictment also charges both defendants with providing material support, including currency, training, communications equipment and personnel, to a foreign terrorist organization, namely al-Qaeda. The maximum statutory penalty for this offense is 15 years in prison.

In addition, Ahmedzay and Medunjanin are charged with receiving military-type training from al-Qaeda. The maximum statutory penalty for this offense is 10 years in prison.

Finally, Ahmedzay is further charged with making false statements to the FBI in a terrorism investigation. According to the indictment, Ahmedzay falsely told the FBI he had disclosed all the locations he visited during his trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan, when he had failed to disclose all these locations. The maximum statutory penalty for this offense is eight years in prison.


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