Zazi cohort pleads guilty to hatching New York subway bombing plot

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New York, Apr 24(ANI): A former New York taxi driver, Zarein Ahmedzay, has pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn Federal Court of conspiring with admitted terrorist Najibullah Zazi in a foiled Al-Qaeda plot to target the New York City subway system in September 2009.

Ahmedzay, an immigrant from Afghanistan, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use a weapon of mass of destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support to Al Qaeda. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced on July 30.

The 25-year-old told the court that he had received orders for the attack from Al-Qaida leaders two years ago, while he was in Pakistan with a friend.

"I personally believed that conducting an operation in the United States would be the best way to end the wars [in Iraq and Afghanistan]. ... They decided we would be more useful in New York," The New York Post quoted Ahmedzay, as saying.

"I was familiar with the city as I was a New York City taxi driver. I knew the city very well. The most important thing was it hit well known critical structures to maximize the damage and casualties," he added.

Ahmedzay further said he, Zazi and a third man, previously identified by the as Adis Medunjanin, met with the leaders in Pakistan, where they offered to join the Taliban and fight U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

"During the summer of 2008 we went to Afghanistan to wage jihad against American occupiers and the corrupt Karzai Government to establish the perfect justice of Allah," Ahmedzay said.

"We were prepared to kill the occupying forces, including United States military. ... [al-Somali and Rauf] spoke English very well. We told these individuals that we wanted to wage jihad in Afghanistan."

"The three of us decided to continue with the suicide bombing during the month of Ramadan," he added.

Zazi was arrested in September 2009, and on February 22 he pled guilty to conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country, and providing material support to a terrorist organization.

He faces a possible life sentence without possibility of parole for the first two counts, and an additional sentence of 15 years for the third count. (ANI)

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