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Suspect trained to kill U.S. soldiers, prosecutors say

Adis Medunjanin, a Flushing man under scrutiny for his ties to accused New York City bomb plotter Najibullah Zazi, received military training from al-Qaida in Pakistan in 2008 with "the intent of killing U.S. service members in Afghanistan," a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Zazi, 24, a Colorado airport taxi driver, was charged last year with plotting to set off peroxide-based bombs in the city, possibly in the subways. Medunjanin, 25, a former Flushing High School classmate of Zazi, was arrested Jan. 8 and charged with receiving al-Qaida military training in Pakistan and conspiracy to commit murder.

The two men, prosecutors have said, traveled together to Pakistan in August 2008, but Tuesday's comment by prosecutor James Loonam, at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie in federal court in Brooklyn, is the first time the trip has been linked to a plan to target U.S. soldiers.

Loonam also said that Medunjanin, a U.S. citizen of Bosnian descent, probably will face additional charges, and told Dearie that his case may be combined with Zazi's in a superseding indictment.

Medunjanin's lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, contends that prosecutors and federal agents used a cat-and-mouse game to keep him away from his client and held Medunjanin incommunicado while interrogating him for two days following his arrest earlier this month.

He asked Dearie to issue a wide-ranging subpoena for information that can be used in a motion to suppress statements Medunjanin made under questioning. The judge ordered prosecutors to make sure all the evidence is preserved while they prepare their response to the subpoena.

Another former high school classmate of Zazi and Medunjanin in Queens, Zarein Ahmedzay, 24, traveled with them to Pakistan, according to prosecutors. He has not been charged with receiving terrorist training, but he was arrested on Jan. 8 and charged with lying to the FBI about the trip.

In an appearance Tuesday before Dearie, prosecutors said Ahmedzay also may face additional charges.

All three men have pleaded not guilty and are being held without bail. Their next court appearances are scheduled for Feb. 25.

With AP

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