A man with ties to an alleged al-Qaida associate charged in a New York bomb plot conspired to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan after receiving training from the terrorist network, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Loonam made the allegation against Adis Medunjanin during a brief hearing in federal court in Brooklyn. An indictment unsealed last week had charged Medunjanin with receiving terror training and murder conspiracy, but didn't specify the target.
Loonam told a judge that prosecutors "anticipate additional charges" against Medunjanin. He also said the case could be combined with that of Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado airport van driver charged with plotting to attack New York City with homemade bombs.
Zazi bought beauty supplies in a Denver suburb to make peroxide-based bombs, prosecutors have said. He tried to mix explosives in a hotel room in early September, then drove to New York to carry out an attack, possibly on the transit system, authorities said.
Medunjanin, 25, has not been directly linked to the foiled bomb plot. But authorities say that he, Zazi and a third man, cab driver Zarein Ahmedzay, traveled to Pakistan, where Zazi received training in explosives from al-Qaida.
All three men — former classmates at a Queens high school — have denied any wrongdoing. They are being held without bail.
Defense attorney Robert C. Gottlieb on Tuesday again accused authorities of holding and interrogating Medunjanin for two days without letting him see his family or a lawyer. Federal authorities say the questioning was legal.
"We take a different view of the facts and the law," Gottlieb said.
Ahmedzay, 24, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to the FBI during the probe about places he visited during the 2008 trip. He was due in court later Tuesday.