* Suspect linked to foiled plots in U.S., Britain
* Faces up to life in prison if convicted
* European court denied bid to block U.S. extradition
By Jessica Dye
NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - A Pakistani man accused of
taking part in an international al Qaeda plot to attack targets
in the United States and Europe pleaded not guilty to terrorism
charges during his first U.S. court appearance Monday in New
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.
The charges against Naseer are also connected to an alleged
al Qaeda plot in 2009 to bomb the subway system in New York
City, U.S. prosecutors said. 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.
During a brief court appearance in Brooklyn federal court,
Naseer, wearing a bright blue t-shirt and black sneakers,
pleaded not guilty to the charges through his court-appointed
lawyer. The judge ordered Naseer to be held in detention without
bail. 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. B r itish authorities conducted
daylight raids on the suspects' homes after Britain's most
senior counter-terrorism official was photographed openly
carrying details about the operation.
British authorities said they found large quantities of
flour and oil in the suspects' homes, as well as highlighted
surveillance photographs of public areas in Manchester and a map
of the city center.
Naseer and the other suspects were never charged, but
British and U.S. authorities said Naseer was part of a broader
al Qaeda cell bent on staging attacks in the United States and
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. U.S. 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
Naseer was re-arrested by British authorities in 2010 after
a U.S. warrant was issued. He fought extradition, saying he
feared he could be sent from the U.S. 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.