April 23rd, 2010
02:45 PM ET

Officials: New York subway terror suspect pleads guilty

Zarein Ahmedzay pleaded guilty to charges he plotted a terror attack on New York City's subway system.

Zarein Ahmedzay pleaded guilty Friday to terrorism charges stemming from his role in an al-Qaeda plot to "conduct coordinated suicide bombings" on New York’s subway system in September 2009, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Prosecutors say Ahmedzay and another man, Adis Medunjanin, conspired with Najibullah Zazi on the attack in mid-September 2009.

Ahmedzay, 25, pleaded guilty to the following charges: Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass of destruction in the U.S.; conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country; and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, namely al Qaeda. Ahmedzay faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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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.

–CNN's Jen Rizzo contributed to this report.

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. G

    I'm sick of hearing news about foreigners coming to states to blow it out of the water. Why do they keep on excepting applications from these countries that inspire to kill all American's? When they do allow them in, it should be for short time while under heavy surveillance. 15-30-days then make them reapply after another investigation before readmitting!

    April 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    This is propaganda and doesn't make any sense. Why would you plot, (you haven't done anything) and then admit guilt?

    April 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jon doe 929

    What do they think would happen if they succeeded... I know what would happen we would bomb them even harder and many many more of their civilians would die as a result.

    April 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mimi G.

    All this hatred & distruction sem to stem from lack of real understanding and compassion. Most of these terror attacks and suicide bombings are done by young Islam men and women, not just in the Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq & Afghanistan), but in host countries as well.

    Teaching young children at an early age to hate America, and also the terrible mistreatment of women in general are key factors why these young boys grow up into men with very little respect and compassion for women. They need to seriously form a special force to reeducate the young ones how to love and respect the woman of Islam, and how to be a more productive in a positive way within the community and outside. You have to have a good heart, and this begins right at ones own family first, and then from school and neighboring communities. Parents, please try to cultivate your children to have good heart and to have compassion for others, and then the world will be a better place to live for all. Thank you!

    April 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. M. Jones

    Maybe if muslims would stop blowing **** up every time they get mad we wouldn't HAVE to generalize them!

    People will scream "But Tim McVeigh!" and guess what...that happened 15 years ago. Muslims blew something up 15 minutes ago!

    We all know it. And this political correctness is going to be the end of western civilization if we don't do something to stop it.......

    April 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Diane - Dallas

    And, most importantly, stop supporting Israel!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. paul mitchell

    send his nuts to allah!!

    April 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brian

    We need to find a way to balance political correctness with a firm hand. We need to work to make it clear that we are only fighting extremists, not the religon of islam itself. This man should be sent to prison for life of course as he is a danger to society.

    April 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dollar79

    where is this guy's picture, and why isnt it plastered on the fron page as "terrorist"

    April 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. glonner22

    "I strongly urge the American people to stop supporting the war against Islam,"

    No, the war is against terror and injustice, not Islam. Only the ignoramity of humans think the war's against Islam.

    April 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mimi G

    When natural disasters such as earthquakes, sunami, volcano, etc occur, they are not of human being's doing – it's mother nature causing all these devastations, and we have to deal with it when it happens and help those in need. But for human beings to go out there plotting and doing all these terrorist acts, with the intent to kill innocent people, is very sad. All because of hatred, resentment, and misguided use of religion, they are willing to cause pain and suffering, and deny any peace and happiness in the world.

    There are other "non-violent" means to tell your story such as writing a book, if not a book, write an article on the New York Times newspaper, or do on-going short write-up on posters and hand them out to the people out on the streets. But, for goodness sakes, stop with all this self destruction and killing many innocent people as well. Don't you see that you are being used by those selfish al Queda leaders? They are the real cowards, they only want to order and plot, and make others to carry them out, but can't do it themselves . You have to see that.

    April 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eric

    Good riddance to him also, like all the other spineless chicken terrorists they come across sorry and emotional when they have been caught and now have to face time in prison with Americans who will "clean their clock" as the saying goes.

    April 23, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kris

    Most conflicts, including this one, are about economics, thinly disguised as religious. The U.S. has a military base in Saudi Arabia (arguably the most "religious" country in the world). The U.S. is there to protect its oil interests because that's what keeps the economy going. What if Saudi Arabia had a military base in the U.S.? Wouldn't that seem strange? Americans are not the enemy of Islam, but I can see how some could perceive the U.S. in this manner (if people in the U.S. believe Rush L., it's not a stretch for people in the Arab world to believe their own blow-hards). The world is too small with too many dogmatics for there to be a chance of compromise any time soon.

    April 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Robin

    Western civilization? Not much civility here.

    Who should be invade next?? How about China? Iran? Korea?

    Maybe someone will invade and occupy our country
    because they don't agree with US!

    April 23, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paul NYC

    Another creep who hates and likes to kill, what a mindless nothing, he might have destroyed my life, everyone should have a chance to live today because life is beautiful even if it is uncertain, i think he needs to be loaded on a shuttle to venus post haste, he is living in our society but wishes us death, why allow this? mercy is not death so we are just feeding and housing a tumor with a human body, maybe Jack kevorkin should visit him and ask if he him for a free injectioon in the jail visitor room.

    April 23, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
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