New York: One of the two suspects arrested on charges of plotting explosions in New York City has pleaded not guilty after a city judge charged him with making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The suspect Zarein Ahmedzay, an Afghan immigrant was arrested yesterday along with Adis Medunjanin, is linked with a terror plot that was allegedly planned by Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado shuttle driver.
Notably, Zazi, also an Afghan immigrant, was arrested and indicted last year on charges of plotting to blow up key areas in New York City.
Ahmedzay, who is alleged to have gone to Pakistan for training, appeared before a federal judge in US District Court in Brooklyn yesterday where he pleaded not guilty to the false statement.
He is accused of having lied about whether he knew whether some John Doe went to Pakistan for military training. 'John Doe' appears to be a reference to Zazi.
The other suspect Bosnian-born Adis Medunjanin is still in custody and yet to appear before a court. Special Agent Richard Kolko said these two men were part of an ongoing terror investigation.
The arrests were made at a time when the Obama administration is reeling from its failure to prevent an attempt by a Nigerian to blow up a US plane on Christmas Day.
Ahmedzay, a US citizen was arrested while driving his car in Manhattan, is believed to have accompanied Zazi to an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan in 2008.
Prosecutors have accused Ahmedzay of not providing accurate information about all the places he visited during this trip and about what he did there.
Medunjanin's apartment was one of the four searched by the Feds during the Zazi investigation in September, 2009. His attorney, Robert Gottlieb, said his client had done nothing wrong. Last year, the Feds found Zazi had purchased large quantities of hydrogen peroxide and acetone from beauty supply stores in Denver over three months.
Then, he tried to mix up explosives in a hotel room and drove to New York to carry out an attack. When the FBI searched his vehicle in New York they found a laptop computer with bomb-making instructions.
A resident of the Queens borough, Medunjanin, 25, is also believed to have accompanied Zazi to an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan in 2008.
On Thursday, the suspect tired to flee when he saw agents near his home and he crashed at Whitestone, Queens, sustaining minor injuries. He was taken into custody after being treated at a local hospital.
The two arrested men, according to US authorities, lived in the same Queens neighbourhood where Zazi once lived. Zazi has already pleaded not guilty.
First Published: Saturday, January 09, 2010, 12:31