Terror Suspect Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Charges
Monday, February 22, 2010
New York, NY —
The airport shuttle driver from Denver, Colo., accused of plotting a terror attack on New York City has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in a Brooklyn federal court. The suspect, Afghan-born, Najibullah Zazi, 25, told a federal judge that he was trained by al-Qaida for a "martyrdom" attack of the city's subways.
Zazi was arrested last September and accused of receiving explosives training at an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan.
Zazi is facing a life prison sentence without parole.
Zazi told prosecutors he flushed bomb-making components down the toilet after he was pulled over at a traffic stop on his return to the city. Zazi had rented a car in Denver and drove back to New York, arriving on Sept. 10, 2009, but returned to Colo. soon after. He says his New York trip was to settle a dispute over a coffee cart he had run in Lower Manhattan.
Prosecutors allege that Zazi had bought beauty supplies in Colorado to be used for making homemade explosives, but no devices or materials were found. Authorities say Zazi did have plans on a laptop computer.
At the time of his arrest, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Zazi case was the most serious terrorism threat since the Sept. 11 attacks.