“Medunjanin went overseas to fulfill a ‘romantic version of jihad.'” Because everyone knows that blood and strewn body parts make for the best romance.
“NYC man sentenced to life in subway terror plot,” from the Associated Press, November 16:
NEW YORK “” A New York City man was sentenced Friday to life in prison for conspiring to form a three-man terror cell with two of his former high school classmates and spread death on the subways as suicide bombers “” a foiled plot that authorities called one of the closest calls since the 9/11 attacks.
Adis Medunjanin, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen from Bosnia, was convicted this year of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, attempting to commit an act of terrorism and other terrorism charges.
In court papers, prosecutors had argued for a life term for Medunjanin, saying he “committed a host of heinous crimes aimed at killing and maiming his fellow American citizens in order to alter and take revenge for American foreign policy.”
At trial, defense attorneys had admitted that Medunjanin wanted to fight for the Taliban, but they insisted he never agreed to spread death and destruction in the city where his family put down roots.
Medunjanin went overseas to fulfill a “romantic version of jihad. … His plan and intent was to join the Taliban and stand up for what he believes in,” attorney Robert Gottlieb said in his closing. “That was his purpose.”
The trial ending in May was mostly notable because it featured the first-ever testimony from admitted homegrown terrorists about al-Qaida’s determination to strike America on its home turf.
The former classmates at a Queens high school, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, testified that the three men sought terror training after falling under the influence of inflammatory recordings of U.S.-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki that they downloaded and listened to on their iPods.
The government’s case was built on the testimony of Zazi, Ahmedzay and two other men: a British would-be shoe bomber and a man originally from Long Island who gave al-Qaida pointers on how best to attack a Walmart store.
Zazi and Ahmedzay, who testified as part of plea deal, told jurors that the scheme unfolded after the trio traveled to Pakistan in 2008 to avenge the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
While receiving terror training at outposts in the South Waziristan region of Pakistan, al-Qaida operatives encouraged the American recruits to return home for a suicide-bombing mission intended to spread panic and cripple the economy. Among the targets considered were the New York Stock Exchange, Times Square and Grand Central Terminal, the men testified….