New York, Jan. 8 (ANI): A Pakistani man, accused of being involved in an international Al-Qaeda plot to attack targets in the US and Europe, has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges during his first court appearance in New York.
Abid Naseer, 26, was extradited on Thursday from Britain to Brooklyn, New York. He is facing up to life in prison on charges including providing material support to Al-Qaeda and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in connection with an alleged plot to bomb a city center in Manchester, England, reports The Dawn.
According to US prosecutors, the charges against Naseer are also connected to an alleged Al-Qaeda plot in 2009 to bomb the subway system in New York City.
Two men, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, have pleaded guilty to planning the attacks and a third man, Adis Medunjanin, was sentenced to life in prison after his conviction last year for taking part in the plot.
Naseer pleaded not guilty to the charges through his court-appointed lawyer. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 7.
Naseer is one of a dozen men, mostly students from Pakistan, who were arrested in Britain in 2009 on suspicion of plotting to bomb a city center in Manchester.
British authorities, who conducted daylight raids on the suspects' homes, said they found large quantities of flour and oil, as well as highlighted surveillance photographs of public areas in Manchester and a map of the city center.
Naseer was indicted in Brooklyn federal court in 2010, along with Medunjanin and other individuals alleged to be linked through a multi-national Al-Qaeda conspiracy.
US prosecutors said Naseer and Zazi coordinated their plans through emails to the same Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda facilitator, "Ahmad," using similar code words to discuss explosives and the timing of their respective plots.
Naseer was re-arrested by British authorities in 2010 after a US warrant was issued. He fought extradition, saying he feared he could be sent from the US to Pakistan and subjected there to torture. Naseer's appeal was rejected last month by the European Court of Human Rights, paving the way for him to stand trial in the United States. (ANI)