The tears came after a prosecutor asked Najibullah Zazi if he still considered the defendant, Adis Medunjanin, to be a good friend.
“I love him,” Zazi replied.
Asked if he believed the defendant intended to carry out the planned suicide bombing, Zazi appeared unable to answer, wiping his eyes with a tissue and holding his head in his hands. After a pause, in a soft voice, he answered: “Yes.”
Zazi, 27 years old, has pleaded guilty to his role in a 2009 plot to bomb the subways. He and another conspirator who has pleaded guilty, Zarein Ahmedzay, are cooperating with prosecutors in their case against Medunjanin, who has admitted going to Pakistan to join the Taliban but denied being involved in a bomb plot.
Medunjanin, 28, has pleaded not guilty to counts including conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to commit an act of terrorism, conspiring to commit murder abroad and conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
The defense attorney, Robert Gottlieb, asked Zazi about the training he, Ahmedzay and Medunjanin received at an al Qaeda training camp in the South Waziristan province of Pakistan in late 2008. Gottlieb asked him if it was correct that most of the training they received had been lectures and that they had fired weapons once, on their last day at the camp.
Zazi said he had only been allowed to fire one magazine from an assault rifle after an hour’s instruction on how to hold it correctly. Zazi also testified that the three trainees had drawn straws to determine who would be allowed to fire one round from a bazooka. Their trainers were short of ammunition.
He reiterated his earlier testimony that al Qaeda was only interested on the trio as suicide bombers. He said the terrorist group was interested in attacking Wal-Mart because it was viewed as the “cornerstone of the U.S. economy.”