By MARY MURPHY
pix11.com | @wpix
6:28 PM EDT, April 30, 2012
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, NY (PIX11)
An anonymous jury--its members known only by numbers--started deliberating Monday the terror conspiracy case against 28 year old Adis Medunjanin of Flushing, Queens.
Medunjanin is charged in the plot to bomb New York City subway cars in September 2009. Two of his old classmates from Flushing High School pleaded guilty in the case and testified against Medunjanin, but his defense lawyer said Medunjanin never signed on to be a "suicide bomber" for Al Qaeda.
The jury was considering nine, criminal counts against Medunjanin in Brooklyn Federal Court, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, receiving military training from a foreign terrorist organization, and conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country.
After his arrest in 2010, following a car chase on the Whitestone Expressway in Queens, Medunjanin acknowledged to the FBI he had traveled to Pakistan in 2008 with two, old friends from Flushing High School, ready to fight with the Taliban against U.S. coalition forces in Afghanistan. But the Bosnian-born Muslim said he never signed on with Al Qaeda operatives to plan a suicide bombing mission in New York City subways. His friends--Najibullah Zazi and Ahmed Zarein--testified he was part of their plot, even though he had no role in gathering the supplies to make the explosives.
During the trial--a convicted British terrorist involved in the Richard Reid shoe-bombing case testified about some Al Qaeda operatives who also happened to have contact with the Flushing suspects.
A Long Island-raised Al Qaeda sympathizer gave chilling testimony about his suggestion to Pakistani operatives that a suicide mission be conducted on a Long Island Railroad train traveling in the tunnel into Manhattan.
E-mail evidence was presented showing Zazi's efforts to contact a Pakistani associate about the ingredients for a subway bomb.
Medunjanun's defense lawyer was confident the jury would pay close attention to the evidence:
"This case and every case in this country--if we're true to our ideals--will be heard by citizens....not in military commissions or secret tribunals," Robert Gottlieb told PIX 11.
Ten men and two women make up the jury.
The jury got the case on the eve of the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. The founder of Al Qaeda was fatally shot on May 1st, 2011, during a U.S. Navy Seal raid on his compound in Pakistan.
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