He could have gotten thirty years, but convinced the judge that he didn’t know about the plot, but was used by his cousin. Nonetheless, he was used for jihad. “Man Sentenced for Role in Plot to Blow Up Subways,” by Mosi Secret in the New York Times, December 14 (thanks to David):
The cousin of a man who plotted to blow up the New York subways was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Friday for introducing his cousin to an imam connected with Al Qaeda and destroying evidence of his cousin”s involvement in the plot.
Amanullah Zazi, 25, whose cousin was the mastermind of what prosecutors called the most serious terrorism threat since the Sept. 11 attacks, faced up to 30 years in prison. But a federal judge said Mr. Zazi had not known about the plot; he only helped his cousin out of filial duty.
Mr. Zazi”s cousin, Najibullah Zazi, and two of his friends from his high school in Queens, Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay, flew to Pakistan in 2008 planning to wage jihad by joining the Taliban in their fight against American troops. But they were unable to reach the front lines.
Amanullah Zazi, an Afghan citizen who was living in Pakistan at the time, volunteered to introduce his older cousin to a local imam. The imam later introduced the men to members of Al Qaeda.
The three Americans followed the Qaeda members to a terrorist training camp, where the Qaeda membership persuaded them to return to the United States to carry out an attack rather than join the fight against American troops. At the training camp, they learned to make bombs out of household chemicals and hatched the plot to bomb the subways.
The three friends from Queens returned to the United States to carry out the attacks, but they abandoned their plans days short of their target date in September 2009 when they learned they were being watched by law enforcement officials. Amanullah Zazi, who had moved to Colorado to live with his cousin”s family, destroyed his cousin”s bomb-making materials to prevent law enforcement officials from finding them.
A federal prosecutor, James Loonam, said in Federal District Court in Brooklyn that Amanullah Zazi spent his days drinking, smoking hashish and just hanging out, and volunteered to help his cousin out of devotion to his family. “He did not know the specifics of any plot,” Mr. Loonam said. “Najibullah Zazi lied to him.”
In 2010, Najibullah Zazi and Mr. Ahmedzay pleaded guilty to terrorism charges. Mr. Medunjanin was convicted after a trial and sentenced to life in prison…