May 1, 2012
A Queens man was convicted of a host of terrorism charges on Tuesday for participating in a plot led by Al Qaeda to stage suicide attacks in the New York subways, an effort that prosecutors said was stopped just days before three former high school classmates planned to set off homemade bombs during rush hour.
The two-week trial offered a rare look at the evolution of a terrorist plot and the workings of Qaeda training camps where the former classmates received their orders. Two of the classmates described the plot, and two other convicted terrorists also testified for the government, sharing their secrets from the witness stand in a packed public courtroom.
The plot began after the defendant, Adis Medunjanin, traveled to Pakistan with two friends from high school with the intention of fighting American troops in Afghanistan. The two friends testified that they were instead recruited to a Qaeda training camp, where they were told that they would be far more valuable to their cause by returning to the United States to carry out an act of terrorism.