NEW YORK — Two men linked to an alleged al-Qaida associate accused in a plot to attack New York City with homemade bombs were arrested Friday after one of the men caused a traffic accident while under surveillance.
One of the suspects, Zarein Ahmedzay, pleaded not guilty to a false statement charge in an indictment accusing him of lying to the FBI about a trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan. A lawyer for the other suspect, Adis Medunjanin, said his client would appear in court today.
Law enforcement officials familiar with the case said Medunjanin is facing more serious terror charges; one said he'll probably be accused of seeking training from a terrorist organization. The officials were not authorized to discuss the case and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Ahmedzay, 24, and Medunjanin, 25, were first publicly linked in September, when investigators raided their homes before the arrest of Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado airport shuttle driver who has pleaded not guilty to supporting terrorism. The former Queens high school classmates are suspected of going to Pakistan in 2008.
Prosecutors said that Zazi traveled to an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan and that "others" went with him to Pakistan.
The indictment unsealed Friday accuses Ahmedzay of lying during questioning in September about "all of the locations he visited during his trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan" in 2008 and early 2009. It also alleges he lied about conversations with someone about "attending a camp to receive military-type training."
On Thursday, Medunjanin was driving erratically, got into an accident and was treated at a hospital for minor injuries, authorities said.