Prosecutors: New York City subway plot linked to British terror cell

NEW YORK — Four previously uncharged al-Qaida operatives were named Wednesday as co-conspirators in last year's New York City subway suicide-bombing plot in a new indictment in federal court in Brooklyn, and the Justice Department alleged a companion plot had targeted the United Kingdom.

Adnan el-Shukrijumah, a Saudi Arabian who heads "external operations" for the terror group, and an operative known as "Ahmad," "Sohaib" or "Zahid" were accused of putting together the twin plots, both designed to use "Western operatives," similar code words and identical bombs made of peroxide, acetone, flour and oil.

Both men are at large. Shukrijumah, 34, wanted by the FBI for several years, has a $5 million price on his head.

The new indictment includes terrorism charges against the principals in the U.K. plot — Abid Naseer and Tariq ur Rehman — and adds a new charge against Adis Medunjanin of Queens, N.Y., the only defendant in the subway case who has not pleaded guilty.

A sixth person whose name is blacked-out also was charged.

"These charges underscore the global nature of the terrorist threat we face," said David Kris, the Justice Department's assistant attorney general for national security.

Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, the two Flushing, N.Y., high school classmates charged last year along with Medunjanin, pleaded guilty in February and April, respectively. They have been cooperating and providing information to authorities, and they said at the time of their pleas that the subway plot was hatched by al-Qaida leaders they met in Pakistan.

In Britain, Metropolitan Police announced the arrest of Naseer, 24, a Pakistani national, after the United States issued a warrant for his arrest.

In May a British judge labeled Naseer an al-Qaida operative but said he could not be deported to Pakistan because of the likelihood he would be mistreated.

Authorities did not release details of the alleged 2009 plot but said they thought the gang was plotting a "mass casualty" attack in northern England.

Information from the Associated Press and McClatchy Newspapers was used in this report.

Prosecutors: New York City subway plot linked to British terror cell 07/08/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 8, 2010 12:03am]

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