The Bosnian-born U.S. citizen convicted earlier this year for his part in a plot to attack the city's subways will spend the rest of his life in jail.
The sentence against Adis Medunjanin, a Queens resident, was handed down Friday afternoon in a federal court in Brooklyn.
His family and friends said nothing after the sentencing.
Prosecutors say Medunjanin and two high school classmates were trained by al-Qaida in Pakistan in 2008.
They were planning to execute a suicide bomb attack on the eighth anniversary of the September 11th attacks in 2009.
His lawyers deny the charge. They accuse the governement of keeping them from communicating with their client and are planning to appeal.
"The government knew that he was represented by counsel," said Robert Gottlieb, Medunjanin's attorney. "And that constitutional, fundamental right is not something we should so easily disregard."
Admitted mastermind Najibullah Zazi and another man pleaded guilty and testified against Medunjanin.
At trial, the defense for the 28-year-old said he only intended to fight with the Taliban, not to become an al-Qaida operative.