Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Accused Subway Terror Plotter’s Frenetic 911 Call During Whitestone Expressway Chase

NBC New York has obtained the 911 call made by Adis Medunjanin in January 2010 as counter-terrorism officials pursued him.

A Queens terror suspect accused of intentionally crashing his car told police dispatchers "we love death" as the FBI and NYPD moved in to arrest him on Jan. 7, 2010 for his alleged role in a plot to bomb New York City’s subways.

Adis Medunjanin is heard on part of frenetic 911 call -- obtained by NBC New York Tuesday -- as he allegedly drove close to 100 mph along the Whitestone Expressway while counterterror officials followed him that January day.

“This is Adis …we love death—,“ Medunjanin shouts before continuing in Arabic, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger.” 

Investigators have said after the subway terror plot was foiled, Medunjanin made a last effort to smash his car and call for attacks on Americans.  

But his defense lawyer said Medunjanin panicked when the FBI visited his home to seize his passport and told him he was under investigation for conspiracy to commit murder. 

Medunjanin was under investigation for his ties to terrorists Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, who have since pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb the subways.

Medunjanin attorney Robert Gottlieb said his client is not a terrorist and played no role in the terror plot. He said the 911 call is an example of a young man who is panicked, not someone out to commit an act of terror

“He intended, and wanted, to kill himself,” said Gottlieb. "This was not a call to jihad."

Prosecutors said Medunjanin traveled to Pakistan with Zazi for terror training. Medunjanin has pleaded not guilty to charges he was going to be one of three suicide bombers

On the 911 tape, the operator is unaware that it is a terror suspect on the line. “Caller on the line, what borough are you in? What’s the address?" she asks.

In the 33-second call, the 911 operator asks if Medunjanin needs police or an ambulance just before the wild crash.

The recording was obtained Tuesday after NBC New York attorney Daniel Kummer argued in federal court to have the tape released to the news media. 

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