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New York terror suspect arraigned

By Hussein Saddique, CNN
  • Adis Medunjanin is accused of being involved in a plot aimed at New York's subway system
  • He pleads not guilty to all charges
  • Two others arrested with him have pleaded guilty in the case

New York (CNN) -- A 25-year-old Bosnian immigrant who lives in New York was arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on charges related to an alleged terrorist plot targeting the city's subway system.

Adis Medunjanin entered the courtroom wearing oversize navy blue prison garb, his hair combed down and a dark beard extending to his chest. He stood before Judge Raymond Dearie and pleaded "not guilty" to all charges. He stood at attention with his hands folded behind his back throughout the proceedings.

According to the FBI, Medunjanin is an associate of Najibullah Zazi. He and a third man, Zarein Ahmedzay, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and other counts in the case. All three were arrested in January in New York.

An indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in February claims that senior al Qaeda operative Shukri El Shukrijumah recruited Zazi to conduct suicide bombings in New York with bombs made of hydrogen peroxide, acetone, flour and oil. U.S. investigators believe Zazi took Medunjanin and Ahmedzay to Pakistan in the second half of 2008 to receive military training from al Qaeda.

Medunjanin is charged with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda and giving and receiving al Qaeda military training. Medunjanin, like Zazi, also was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, according to the FBI.

A new charge was added in July alleging Medunjanin tried to crash his car into another vehicle on New York's Whitestone Bridge in an attempt to conduct a suicide attack.

Robert C. Gottlieb, Medunjanin's attorney, told reporters assembled outside the courthouse that he intended to take his client to trial and to "defend his rights" in court.

During the Friday's arraignment, Gottlieb asked the court to help expedite security clearances the defense team would need to wade through classified evidence the government will submit in the course of trial.

Gottlieb also informed the court that the defense team intends to file a motion to suppress evidence related to statements Medunjanin allegedly made to U.S. authorities when he was first arrested in January.

Gottlieb later told reporters that authorities may have violated the Constitution by not allowing his client access to legal counsel when they first questioned him under custody.