Bin Laden told of al-Qaeda suspect's plot

2015-02-18 09:06
(Elizabeth Williams, AP)

(Elizabeth Williams, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - A US prosecutor told jurors at the terrorism trial of accused al-Qaeda operative Abid Naseer that his plan to bomb a shopping center in England in 2009 was described in a "chilling" letter recovered during the military raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

In an opening statement at trial in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, prosecutor Celia Cohen said the letter from al Qaeda's head of Western operations updated bin Laden on plans by Naseer and others to carry out attacks in New York, Copenhagen and Manchester, England.

"You will see that chilling reminder in the letter to Osama bin Laden that al Qaeda's goal was to attack infidels in their home territories," Cohen said.

Jurors were not told that the letter came from the May 2011 raid in Abbotabad, Pakistan that killed bin Laden. But before the trial, Cohen said it was recovered in that operation.

Naseer, who was extradited from Britain in 2013, is representing himself at trial. With Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney for Brooklyn who is President Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general looking on, Naseer proclaimed his innocence.

"The evidence will not show the defendant was a member of al-Qaeda," Naseer said.

Naseer, 28, faces up to life in prison if convicted of providing and conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiring to use a destructive device.

The trial would be the first in the United States to feature evidence from the raid on bin Laden's hideout. The raid ended a nearly 10-year hunt following the 11 Sept 2001, attacks on the United States using hijacked jetliners.

Prosecutors say Naseer was leader of an al-Qaeda cell plotting an attack on Manchester and that another cell conspired to bomb the New York City subway system, while a third planned to attack a Copenhagen newspaper that had printed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Two men, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the New York plot. A third, Adis Medunjanin, was convicted at trial and sentenced in 2012 to life in prison. Zazi was the first witness called on Tuesday.

Cohen said Naseer like Zazi co-ordinated his plans through a Pakistan-based al-Qaeda facilitator, "Sohaib," using email addresses intended to disguise his identity and describing the attack as a "wedding" or "marriage."

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.