Queens man sentenced in plot to bomb N.Y. subway system
NEW YORK — A New York City man, after reciting verses from the Quran rather than expressing remorse, was sentenced Friday to life in prison in a foiled 2009 plot that authorities labeled one of the closest calls since the 9/11 attacks.
Adis Medunjanin, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen from Bosnia, had faced a mandatory life term following his conviction last year of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and several other terrorism charges stemming from the al-Qaida-sanctioned scheme hatched with two former high school classmates.
Appearing in federal court in Brooklyn, Medunjanin read from the Quran in Arabic for several minutes before U.S. District Judge John Gleeson interrupted and asked him if he intended to say anything in English.
The defendant politely asked for more time to finish one verse, then shifted into a critique of American society and foreign policy.
“What kind of system endorses torture?” he said, as some of his relatives wept in the gallery. “Is this really the best system that humanity ever produced?”
He closed by saying, “I had nothing to do with any subway plot or bombing plot whatsoever. I ask Allah to release me from prison.”
Gleeson told Medunjanin that his remarks made him appear more like a robotic “exhibit” of extremism than the college-educated person who escaped war-torn Bosnia as a child and grew up in a stable immigrant family in Queens.
“You create the impression that you're asking me to sentence you like the committed, anti-American jihadist you seem to want to be for the rest of your life,” the judge said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Defense workers with security clearance owed millions in back taxes, GAO finds
- ‘Pawn Stars’ store owner plans nearby shopping plaza
- Obama mulls large-scale move on immigration
- Jury picked for trial of former Virginia governor, wife
- Powerful tornado surprises area near Boston
- House bill lets airlines advertise pre-tax fares
- $17B remedy for VA pitched
- Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B
- Ebola only a plane ride away from U.S.
- Medicare finances improve as health care inflation slows, trustees say
- Lawmakers say answering Census survey should be voluntary