Pakistani man gets 40 years in al-Qaida plot to bomb subway - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Pakistani man gets 40 years in al-Qaida plot to bomb subway

NEW YORK (AP) - A Pakistani man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Tuesday for a failed al-Qaida bomb plot on the New York City subway.

A federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Abid Naseer in March following a trial that featured spies in disguise, evidence from the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound and the defendant's questioning of an admitted co-conspirator.

Naseer was first arrested in 2009 in Great Britain on charges he was part of a terror cell plotting to blow up a shopping mall in Manchester, England. The charges were dropped after a British court found there wasn't enough evidence, but U.S. prosecutors later named him in an indictment alleging a broader conspiracy that included the subway plot.

He was rearrested and extradited to the United States in 2013 to face charges of conspiracy and providing support to al-Qaida.

The government alleged Naseer had received bomb-making instructions in Pakistan in 2008, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Zainab Ahmed told jurors the arrest of Naseer and other members of his cell averted mass murder.

Naseer acted as his own lawyer as he set about portraying himself as a moderate Muslim who was falsely accused. He was assisted by defense attorney James Neuman but largely spoke for himself - often in the third person.

"Abid is innocent," Naseer said in closing arguments. "He is not a terrorist. He is not an al-Qaida operative."

Naseer's self-representation created the spectacle of the defendant cross-examining an admitted terrorist. Five British secret agents also testified wearing disguises - one wore a fake beard and thick black glasses - and the case marked the first time documents recovered in the 2009 Navy SEAL raid against Osama bin Laden's compound were used as trial evidence.

But most of the case hinged on email exchanges in 2009 between Naseer and a person described by prosecutors as an al-Qaida handler who was directing plots to attack civilians in Manchester, New York City and Copenhagen. Naseer insisted the emails consisted only of harmless banter about looking for a potential bride after going to England to take computer science classes.

But the prosecutor accused Naseer of lying on the witness stand by claiming the women he wrote about were real. Ahmed said the women's names actually were code for homemade bomb ingredients: Nadia stood for ammonium nitrate and Huma for hydrogen peroxide.

She dismissed Naseer's explanations as "blather" and said, "This man wanted to drive a car bomb into a crowded shopping center and watch people die."

One prosecution witness, Najibullah Zazi, pleaded guilty in the subway plot as part of a cooperation agreement. Zazi testified that after receiving explosives training in Pakistan, he received instructions from the same al-Qaida contact as Naseer and was told to use "marriage" and "wedding" as code for attacks.

Another witness was an FBI legal attache who handled evidence found in the bin Laden raid, including letters written among top al-Qaida officials. One referred to sending "brothers" to New York and Britain and to arrests made there - a passage prosecutors suggested was a reference to Naseer.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • G7 leaders pressure tech firms on removing terror propaganda

    G7 leaders pressure tech firms on removing terror propaganda

    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:45 AM EDT2017-05-27 05:45:22 GMT
    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:45 AM EDT2017-05-27 05:45:22 GMT

    The differences are well-known: climate change, trade and migration threaten to throw a summit of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations off its consensus game with U.S. President Donald Trump cast as the spoiler-in-chief.

    The differences are well-known: climate change, trade and migration threaten to throw a summit of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations off its consensus game with U.S. President Donald Trump cast as the spoiler-in-chief.

  • UK Labour leader links terror to wars as campaign resumes

    UK Labour leader links terror to wars as campaign resumes

    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:44 AM EDT2017-05-27 05:44:55 GMT
    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:44 AM EDT2017-05-27 05:44:55 GMT

    British police investigating the Manchester Arena bombing have arrested a ninth man while continuing to search addresses associated with the bomber who killed 22 concert-goers.

    British police investigating the Manchester Arena bombing have arrested a ninth man while continuing to search addresses associated with the bomber who killed 22 concert-goers.

  • If FBI wants to talk to Kushner, lawyer says he's ready

    If FBI wants to talk to Kushner, lawyer says he's ready

    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:44 AM EDT2017-05-27 05:44:46 GMT
    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:44 AM EDT2017-05-27 05:44:46 GMT

    Amid reports that the FBI is investigating meetings Trump son-in-law had with Russians, Jared Kushner's lawyer says he is willing to cooperate with investigators.

    Amid reports that the FBI is investigating meetings Trump son-in-law had with Russians, Jared Kushner's lawyer says he is willing to cooperate with investigators.

Powered by Frankly