911 tape of accused terrorist released

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Federal prosecutors Tuesday released the 911 tape of accused subway-bomb plotter Adis Medunjanin allegedly declaring jihad as he crashed his speeding car while under surveillance by agents in what the government has charged was a suicide attack.

"We love death [unintelligible] you love your life. There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his messenger. There is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger," Medunjanin screams, partially in Arabic, according to a government transcript.

Medunjanin, 27, is scheduled to go on trial next month on charges that he conspired with Queens friends Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay in an al-Qaida inspired plot to set off bombs in the New York City subways in 2009.

Zazi and Ahmedzay have pleaded guilty. Medunjanin says he never agreed to participate in a bombing.

In early 2010, after the plot had been exposed, FBI agents visited Medunjanin at his Queens home, conducted a search and indicated that they had information about a trip he took to Pakistan in 2008 with Zazi and Ahmedzay.

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Within an hour, Medunjanin sped away in his car, reaching speeds of 90 miles per hour on the Whitestone Expressway, calling 911 and crashing. He suffered only minor injuries. At the hospital later, agents said that he admitted the crash was an act of jihad and made other incriminating statements.

In a superseding indictment last year, the government said the car crash itself was a suicide attack, citing Medunjanin's 911 statement. The tape was played at a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence last year, and released by U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie Tuesday after NBC/New York requested it.

Defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb, opposing the release, said the tape could harm Medunjanin's ability to get a fair trial. But Dearie said it will likely be played for the jury eventually, and pretrial questioning of prospective jurors can eliminate those who have prejudged the case after hearing it.

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