Queens Man Pleads Not Guilty To Charges Of Receiving Al-Qaida Training


One of two Queens men arrested in connection with an alleged terror plot against the city pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn Saturday to charges that he received military training from al-Qaida in Pakistan.

Adis Medunjanin,  a 25-year-old Bosnian-born building superintendent, was arrested Friday and arraigned on charges of receiving military training from a foreign terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country.

Prosecutors say Medunjanin received the training from al-Qaida between August to October 2008.

Medunjanin pleaded not guilty to all charges Saturday.

Another suspect, 24-year-old Zarein Ahmedzay, right, was arrested Friday morning while driving his taxi in Manhattan. The Afghan-born cab driver pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he lied to the FBI about visiting Pakistan and Afghanistan between late 2008 and early 2009.

Ahmedzay is being held without bail, and his bail hearing has been set for Tuesday.

Investigators say both men were under surveillance for months, and both their homes were raided as part of the investigation into Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan-born Colorado shuttle bus driver accused of plotting to blow up the subway system with homemade bombs.
Zazi, also visited Pakistan between August 2008 and early 2009 and is charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.

Authorities say all three suspects went to Flushing High School in Queens together.

Medunjanin’s lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, warned reporters Saturday not to jump to conclusions about his client.

“The government has a very special responsibility to make sure that every aspect and requirement of our Constitution is abided by government officials,” said Gottlieb. “So before this individual can be declared guilty as opposed to presumed innocent under our law, we have got to make sure that all the evidence comes out, all the facts come out, and that justice is done.”

Medunjanin’s lawyer said his client cooperated without hesitation with investigators when his home was raided last summer, and his client’s passport was willingly handed over Thursday.

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