NYC plot hatched by al-Qaeda in Waziristan: US prosecutors

NYC plot hatched by al-Qaeda in Waziristan: US prosecutors

Assistant United States attorney, Jeffery H Knox, speaking in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Friday, revealed that two senior al-Qaeda leaders were instrumental in developing this plan.

They were identified as Saleh al-Somali, the group's head of external operations, and Rashid Rauf, a key operative. Both have been killed by drone attacks in Pakistan.
Zazi, 25 pleaded guilty in February.

Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin, both 25 were indicted on charges similar to Zazi's - conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to murder in a foreign country, and providing material support for a foreign terrorist organisation.
While, in Pakistan he (Zazi) was recruited by al Qaeda who taught him how to use weapons. From Peshawar, they travelled to Waziristan for training where they met with Rauf and l-Somali, according to the Justice Department.
Out of two co-conspirators, Ahmedzay on Friday also admitted to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.

Ahmedzay, Zazi and Medunjanin went to high school together in Queens, New York.
"Your honour, I strongly urge the American people to stop supporting the war against Islam. It would be in their interest," Ahmedzay said in Brooklyn Federal Court.

"I'm thankful for myself that I did not do anything to harm anyone. But I fear someone else might do the same."
He added that the "real enemy of this country are the ones destroying the country from within".

"I believe it's a special group - Zionist Jews, I believe, who want a permanent shadow government, he said.
In February, the 25-year-old shuttle driver from Colorado, Zazi, also admitted to being trained along with other men from New York by al Qaeda in Pakistan.
"During the training, al Qaeda leaders asked us to return to the United States and conduct martyrdom operations. We agreed to this plan," Zazi told the courtroom in February.

"I would sacrifice myself to bring attention to what the US military was doing to civilians in Afghanistan by sacrificing my soul for the sake of saving other souls," he added.

The prosecutors allege that in August 2008 both Ahmedzay and Medunjanin accompanied Zazi on a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, NJ, to Peshawar, Pakistan where they met with an al-Qaeda agent.
Medunjanin is a Bosnian immigrant.
In his plea, Zazi told the judge that during the summer of 2008 he made a plan with others in Queens, New York to go to Pakistan to join the Taliban and fight against the US army in Afghanistan.

"We told these two individuals that we wanted to wage jihad in Afghanistan, but they said that we would be more useful to them and to the jihad if we returned to New York and conducted operations there," Ahmedzay told the court.

After the initial training, the three Americans left Waziristan, according to the Justice Department. The plan was for Ahmedzay and Zazi to return to Waziristan a month later to receive explosives training from al-Qaeda but Zazi went by himself.
Ahmedzay later reviewed Zazi's bomb-making notes from the training. Zazi's father and uncle have also been indicted in the case. Another New York City Imam has also pleaded guilty for lying to the feds in this case.
The authorities had described the Zazi case as the most serious terrorist attempt since 9/11.

"Ahmedzay’s plea makes clear that he betrayed his adopted country and its people by providing support to al-Qaeda and planning to bring deadly violence to New York," said Robert S Mueller, FBI Director.