NY man pleads guilty in plot to bomb NYC subway

(AP) - A New York man said Friday that a plan to attackthe city subway system was ordered by al-Qaida leaders two yearsago while he was in Pakistan with a friend, a former airportshuttle driver who has since admitted to the plot.

Zarein Ahmedzay, 25, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklynto charges including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destructionin the foiled New York City subway bomb plot from fall 2009.

He said he, admitted plotter Najibullah Zazi and a third,unidentified man met with the leaders in Pakistan in 2008, wherethey offered to join the Taliban and fight U.S. forces inAfghanistan.

"They told us we would be more useful if we returned to NewYork City ... to conduct operations," he said. Asked by the judgewhat kind of operations, he responded, "Suicide-bombingoperations."

He added: "I personally believed that conducting an operationin the United States would be the best way to end the war," hesaid.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Knox identified the leaders assenior al-Qaida operatives Saleh al-Somali and Rashid Rauf, whowere both killed in Pakistan. The U.S. Justice Department on Fridaydescribed al-Somali as the head of international operations foral-Qaida.

Al-Somali was killed in a drone strike in December. Rauf, aBritish militant linked to a jetliner bomb plot, was also killed ina predator strike in November 2008.

Knox said Ahmedzay met with a third senior al-Qaida operative ina training camp in northern Waziristan in Pakistan. He has not beenidentified.

Prosecutors say Ahmedzay joined Zazi and another friend fromtheir Queens high school on the trip to Pakistan to seek terrorismtraining.

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