Another conspirator in the plot to blow up New York City subways has pled guilty, the Justice Department announced.
Zarein Ahmedzay appeared in federal court in New York Friday, where he pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, and providing material support to a terrorist organization—namely al Qaeda.
Ahmedzay was arrested in January in what has been described by federal law enforcement officials as "the most dangerous terrorist plots since 9/11." The al Qaeda plotters planned to construct and detonate suicide bombs throughout the New York City subway system around the eighth anniversary of the September 11th 2001 attacks. The targets were ultimately selected, according to prosecutors, because "al Qaeda leadership emphasized the need to hit well-known structures and maximize the number of casualties."
Discussing the severity of the threat after Ahmedzay's guilty plea, Attorney General Eric Holder explained:
"The facts disclosed today add chilling details to what we know was a deadly plot hatched by al Qaeda leaders overseas to kill scores of Americans in the New York City subway system in September 2009…This plot, as well as others we have encountered, makes clear we face a continued threat from al-Qaeda and its affiliates overseas. With three guilty pleas already and the investigation continuing, this prosecution underscores the importance of using every tool we have available to both disrupt plots against our nation and hold suspected terrorists accountable."
The ringleader of the group, Najibullah Zazi, has already pled guilty and is said to be cooperating. Zazi is awaiting sentencing. An imam that tipped off the suspects that they were under investigation, Ahmad Afzali, pled guilty last week and was sentenced to time served and will be deported.
Ahmedzay remains in custody pending sentencing, and could receive life in prison for his role in the terrorist plot.