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.

Security Brief: 'Home-grown jihadists' a growing headache for FBI

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. M. Pones

    Maybe if americans would stop invading ****ing countries every time they get mad we wouldn't HAVE to generalize them!

    April 24, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Miguel

    To those who think generalizing is a good idea, I don't think you understand what generalizing is. Generalizing is when one assumes that a minority within a group represents all of the group. This usually happens when the minority gets attention. People just assume. Never assume. It's not about political correctness. It's about labeling. And it's contantly happening. You don't HAVE to generalize people. It's ludicrious. I mean, it's a fact that Islamic terrorists are a minority of muslims. Muslims have decried terrorism in the past. Also note that extemism can happen from anywhere.

    April 24, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. r_harb

    Yep all these stats that show the constitution and the legal system works are being thrown out by the antisemites at the Pentagon. Instead they prefer their racist war against non white Christians, so what about Christians that aren't white? Aren't they welcomed and treated like whites? nope they are barely tolerated and mocked subtly and benignly.

    April 24, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. marius

    muslims are the ones terrorizing the non muslim world. They are the ones who masterminded 9/11, they are the ones blowing up transit systems in western cities, they are the ones that are issuing fatwa s a the drop of a hat against so called infidels . Some of the misguided and silly pc brigade on here spouting pro islam and anti western nonsense need to seriously wake up before its too late. Come over here to Europe and see what we have allowed muslims to do to our cities and freedoms. Its terrifying. They have believed in their superiority over all non muslims for a very long time and if you fools in the pc brigade take time out to read the koran you will see it clearly .They have no alliance to anything, including their families but allah and the dangerous cult of islam

    April 24, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Erron

    There are 1.4 billion Muslims in the world, and there is overwhelming support across the board for jihad against non-combatants. In 2002, the Global Attitudes Project conducted a survey of 38,000 people in participating Muslim countries. One of the questions was exactly this (not worded in any other way): "Do you feel suicide bombing is justifiable in defense of Islam". The numbers were overwhelming. Lebanon had 73% saying YES to that, and then it ranges to Turkey at 13%. They weren't able to poll countries like Iran or Afghanistan, but you could imagine the numbers there. Still though, even if only 1% of the entire Muslim population was in support of 9/11 (or similar events), that's still 14 million Muslims worldwide that we should be very concerned about. Islam has no desire to mold into Western culture and the modern world. It will not happen, they aren't interested in it happening, and its only going to get much worse.

    April 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |

    Well, I for one have read so many postings by Muslims on other Islam vs US articles and I cant seem to find one that thanks us for Iraq (Toppling a cruel dictator) or for chasing the Taliban (Rapers of 12 yr old Girls) from power in Afghanistan. So I do not expect any to say much on this article other than to say "Stop the war on Islam" If fighting the Taliban is a fight against Islam... well then we need to enact laws that keep Islamic culture at bay and seriously restricted to a point where they do not want to come here.

    April 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Al

    has anyone noticed that CNN needs a new editor? I've seen more mistakes in these news 'stories' than in any of my Junior college students... and I know CNN wouldn't let a journalist work without a degree... or wait... are they adding to the recession? by not doing a god damn thing except talking about other people?

    April 25, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. sjalal

    I am glad that nothing bad has happened. If these people did indeed what they are accused of, then they should be made an example of what could happen if anyone else try similar tactics. On the other hand, anyone who is blaming the entire Muslim community and Islam in general for the actions of these nut jobs, they are just being a reflection of these radicals on the other side. The thought process is exactly the same with the accusing sides reversed.

    April 25, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. Eli

    So this guy plead guilty and gets the benefit of staying in a big house free of food, clothing and shelter complete with security. Think of those soldiers that fulls into enemies hands?
    Do they live to see the light of another day? America should do the same.

    April 25, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Average American

    He'll spend a few years in jail, recruiting/converting more islamic terrorists while he's there. Then, they will all be released to bring forth rein & terror for ever more...

    April 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    I don't know why they bother to ask these guys how they want to plead, since they are all proud as punch of being terrorists and to them pleading guilty is an act of heroism.

    April 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sherri

    We are not the ones flying planes into buildings. Nor sending death threats to cartoonists.
    I have heard them say what their plans are for the U.S. and the world. Total Islam. I have read the articles where, in their words, they say what they plan for U.S. and world. Total worldwide Islam. First to go is freedom of speech.
    Get the movie The Third Jihad and watch it. Do a Google search for "takeover of America" + Islam and read, step by step, in their words, what they plan. Wake up America!

    April 25, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Anthony Kovic

    The US and many other Western nations made a BIG mistake by welcoming Islamic immigrants.

    April 25, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. taj

    When will we see people realising the fact that we are humans first? then only Muslims,Christians,Buddhish or etc?

    How does killing a Christian or a jew justifies the jihad course?Again, how does killing muslim kids throwing stones at a soldier justififes self defence?

    Root course..of ALL this..is the favortism the Western world doing for Israel yet oppresing others? When was the last time Israel ever went for nuclear weapon checks? Why the favortism?

    It is my rough guess, ALL these terrorism is from the Israel-Palestine issue... Watcth the documentary, Death in Gaza – You will see the truth.

    No Christians Jews or Muslims are greater than each other, we are JUST HUMANS!!! Let go off the fanatism,favortism, Oppresion, I think then you might see peace in both worlds...

    April 26, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
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