'Al-Qaeda ordered NYC attack'

Suspect pleads guilty

'Al-Qaeda ordered  NYC attack'

But when Zarein Ahmedzay and Najibullah Zazi arrived in Pakistan in 2008, two high-ranking al-Qaeda operatives gave them another set of marching orders. “They told us we would be more useful if we returned to New York City... to conduct operations,” Ahmed-zay said on Friday in a guilty plea that offered chilling details of a foiled plot attack on the New York City subways last fall.

Asked by a judge in federal court in Brooklyn what kind of operations, he responded: “Suicide-bombing operations.”

The attacks were to coincide with Ramzan and target landmarks, but the plan was scaled back because the conspirators didn’t have enough homemade explosives.
Prosecutors say the 25-year-old Ahmedzay joined Zazi and Adis Medunjanin, another friend from their Queens high school, on the trip to Pakistan to seek terrorism training.
Zazi, a Colorado airport van driver, admitted that he tested bomb-making materials in a Denver suburb before travelling by car to New York with the intent of attacking the subway system to avenge US involvement in Afghanistan.

Ahmedzay said al-Qaeda leadership encouraged the men to target “well-known structures” in New York to cause “maximum casualties”. They also decided that the attack should occur during the holy month of Ramzan, between Aug 22 and Sept 20. The three settled on subways after Zazi determined he could only make enough explosives for a smaller attack in time for Ramzan, and decided it would happen on Sept 14, 15 or 16. The plot was disrupted when cops stopped Zazi’s car as it entered New York.

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