Terror Suspect Accused of Plotting to Blow up New York City Subways Claims He Wasn’t Talking About Bombs
Paul Thompson, Daily Mail, February 5, 2015
An al Qaeda terror suspect who plotted to blow up New York City subways and targets in Europe has claimed he wasn’t talking about bombs but trying to find to woman to marry.
Abid Naseer said hours of online chats with other men from nine different email accounts was his attempt to find a suitable girlfriend.
The 28-year-old Pakistani national is due to go on trial in New York later this month, accused of being part of a terror cell that planned attacks in the US, UK and Denmark.
Naseer’s explanation for the hours of online conversations that will be used in his trial are contained in new court documents filed with the court in Brooklyn, New York.
He claims that the incriminating online exchanges on sites like the Muslim dating portal Qiran.com were part of his quest to find a woman to marry.
But prosecutors say the talk about marriage and parties was a cover for a plot to blow up the New York subway and a mall in Manchester, England, in 2009.
In one chat, Naseer talks about a party to be held in Manchester in April 2009.
British anti-terror chiefs said this was the date for a planned attack.
Naseer says of the email: ‘My reference to holding a huge party and trying to include as many as possible was referring to the intended wedding.’
He also claims he had success in chatting up women from the US, UK, Morocco and Nigeria.
‘I met quite a few girls on there who I contacted with a view to marriage,’ he said.
Prosecutors said the claims about seeking a marriage partner were ‘self-serving’ and want them excluded from the trial, where Naseer is representing himself.
They were made after his arrest and while being interviewed in the UK by anti-terror police.
Naseer was extradited to the US in 2013 to face charges in connection to a terror plot targeting New York, Manchester and Copenhagen.
Naseer had been originally arrested on suspicion of terrorism in 2009. He was one of 12 men held in Manchester, but the men were later released because of a lack of evidence and a severely compromised investigation Two other men have already pleaded guilty to helping plan the attacks.
Last month, Federal Judge Raymond Dearie agreed to allow six officers of MI5, Britain’s domestic counterintelligence agency, to testify in disguise consisting of wigs and light makeup, and use pseudonyms at Naseer’s Brooklyn trial.
Prosecutors expect the British spies will testify about Naseer’s meetings with alleged co-conspirators, his sending of coded messages to al Qaeda leaders, and his scouting of possible bombing targets
Documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan lair will also be used for the first time in a terror trial.