New York City subway bomb plotter Najibullah Zazi began crying over his broken relationship with accused accomplice Adis Medunjanin as he completed testifying at Medunjanin's terrorism trial in Brooklyn federal court Thursday.
"I love him," Zazi said when prosecutors asked if the two men had remained friends despite personal disputes during a 2008 trip to Pakistan which led them to an al-Qaida training camp where they were recruited for a suicide mission in the United States.
Following the question, Zazi's face got red and he began dabbing his eyes with a tissue, pausing before answering the next question. Sitting at the defense table, Medunjanin, Zazi's former Flushing High School classmate, did not react.
Medunjanin, 28, a former doorman, faces up to life in prison on conspiracy and weapons charges. Zazi and a third schoolmate who went to Pakistan, Zarein Ahmedzay, both pleaded guilty in the plot and have testified against Medunjanin, who claims he never agreed to the subway terrorism.
Zazi, 27, a former pushcart vendor who previously testified that he would try to live a better life if he gets out of jail as a result of his cooperation with prosecutors, also said Thursday that he believed al-Qaida had "brainwashed" him.
"I don't consider my life miserable, but I consider my life with too much problems," he told defense attorney Robert Gottlieb on cross examination. "My problems is because of their bad strategy."
In other testimony Thursday, a onetime friend of the Queens trio said they tried to recruit him at a mosque to join them on their 2008 trip to Pakistan, but he rejected the overture because he disagreed with them on the appropriateness of violent jihad.
Sadik Khan, 22, said he attended classes taught by Medunjanin at the Abu Bakr mosque in Queens, and later received literature on radical Islam from him. But when the trio invited him to go to Pakistan, Khan said, he was tugged in the other direction by "family obligations" to a sick brother and by his parents.
"They weren't happy with it at all," Khan said.
When the trial resumes Monday, jurors are expected to hear from two more cooperating witnesses who attended al-Qaida training camps in Pakistan -- one of them Long Islander Bryant Neal Vinas, a Patchogue man who, like Zazi, was in a camp in 2008 and discussed an attack on the LIRR with al-Qaida.