NEW YORK (AP) – A defense attorney has asked a New York City jury to remain impartial at a terrorism trial that began a day after the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Houston native Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of joining al-Qaida and participating in an attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. In opening statements on Tuesday, defense attorney David Ruhnke called his client a “real human being” who deserves a fair trial. He also said the government was relying on testimony from unreliable turncoat terrorists. The U.S.-born defendant was captured by Pakistan’s security forces in 2014. His case has drawn extra attention because of reports that American officials had debated whether to try to kill him in a drone strike, a step almost never taken against U.S. citizens.