Friday, April 23, 2010

NY Subway Terror Plot Suspect Pleads Guilty

CNN is reporting that Zarein Ahmedzay pleaded guilty today to terrorism charges stemming from his role in the al-Qaeda plot to conduct suicide bombings on the New York subway system in September 2009. The charges to which Ahmedzay pleaded guilty included conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction in the U.S., conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, and providing material support to a terrorist organization. According to federal prosecutors, Ahmedzay and another individual conspired with Najibullah Zazi, who earlier pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.

Ahmedzay listened intently in court and swiveled from side to side in his chair as the judge made sure he understood what entering a guilty plea meant. He responded that everything was clear to him and then stood up to make a statement detailing his role in the terror plot.

Ahmedzay started his statement with a quote from the Quran and ended with a message to Americans.

"I strongly urge the American people to stop supporting the war against Islam," Ahmedzay said. He added "I am thankful for myself that I did not do anything to harm anyone but fear someone else will do the same thing."

During Ahmedzay's hearing, prosecutors for the first time revealed the name of the two al Qaeda leaders who ordered the plot - Saleh al-Somali, head of international operations for al Qaeda, and Rashid Rauf, a key operative.

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