A leak by US Intelligence Officials to Some News Agency reveals that in 2008 three of the subway bomb plotters traveled to Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier tribal areas where one of them, possibly all three, met with Adnan el Shukrijumah, the prominent al Qaeda figure known to have been the leader of the failed “Second Wave” attack following 9/11 involving the detonation of a dirty bomb in a major US city, whose target is generally believed to have been Los Angeles.
Shukrijumah was long suspected to have been operating from somewhere in Latin America, but this evidence places him in Waziristan in 2008.
U.S. counterterrorism officials have linked one of the nation’s most wanted terrorists to last year’s thwarted plot to bomb the New York City subway system, authorities said Wednesday.
Current and former counterterrorism officials said top al-Qaida operative Adnan Shukrijumah met with one of the would-be suicide bombers in a plot that Attorney General Eric Holder called one of the most dangerous since the 9/11 terror attacks.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have named Shukrijumah in a draft terrorism indictment but on Wednesday the Justice Department was still discussing whether to cite his role. Some officials feared that the extra attention might hinder efforts to capture him. …
Current and former counterterrorism officials discussed the case on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about it.
Shukrijumah, 34, has eluded the FBI for years. The Saudi-born terrorist studied at a community college in Florida, but when the FBI showed up to arrest him as a material witness to a terrorism case in 2003, he already had left the country. The U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
Intelligence officials began unraveling the subway plot last year, when U.S. intelligence intercepted an e-mail from an account that al-Qaida had used in a recent terrorist plot, officials said. The e-mail discussed bomb-making techniques and was sent to an address in Denver, setting off alarms within the CIA and FBI from Islamabad to the U.S.
Najibullah Zazi and two friends were arrested in September 2009 before, prosecutors said, they could carry out a trio of suicide bombings in Manhattan. Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay have pleaded guilty and admitted planning to detonate homemade bombs on the subway during rush hour. A third man, Adis Medunjanin, awaits trial.
A fourth suspect, a midlevel al-Qaida operative known as Ahmed, traded the e-mails with Zazi, who was frantically trying to perfect his bomb making recipe, officials said. The U.S. wants to bring the Pakistani man to the U.S. for trial on charges that are not yet public.
Pakistani officials also have arrested a fifth person, known as Afridi, who worked with Ahmed, officials said.