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Queens Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Subway Bomb Plot

By Julie Shapiro | November 16, 2012 8:22pm
 The Times Square subway station was among the targets of a 2009 bomb plot.
The Times Square subway station was among the targets of a 2009 bomb plot.
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Wikimedia Commons/Uris

NEW YORK — A Queens man found guilty of conspiring with Al Qaeda to bomb the city's subways was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

Adis Medunjanin, 34, a Bosnian-born American citizen, plotted a suicide bomb attack on high-profile Manhattan subway stations in 2009 and was days away from carrying it out when authorities intervened, federal officials said.

Medunjanin, along with convicted co-conspirators Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, received Al Qaeda training in Pakistan in 2008 and returned to the United States determined to strike targets including Grand Central Terminal and Times Square, the FBI and U.S. Attorney's office said.

But federal authorities learned of the plot and foiled it, arresting Zazi and later others, including Medunjanin, officials said.

In May, Medunjanin was convicted conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiring to commit murder of U.S. military personnel abroad, providing and conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda, receiving military training from Al Qaeda, attempting to commit an act of terrorism and using explosives.

"Adis Medunjanin sought martyrdom for himself and death for innocent New Yorkers as part of Al Qaeda’s plan to spread terror within our shores. Instead, he will now spend the rest of his life where he belongs, behind bars,” United States Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

"Justice demanded a sentence of life for this Al Qaeda operative, who was dedicated to mass murder and destruction in the New York City subways. Scores of innocent New Yorkers would have been killed or maimed had Medunjanin succeeded in his plot."