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Holder: Zazi’s plot “one of the most serious terrorist threats to our nation since September 11th, 2001”

And all resolved using civilian law enforcement. From the DOJ press release:

The Justice Department announced that Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty today in the Eastern District of New York to a three-count superseding information charging him with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction (explosive bombs) against persons or property in the United States, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support to al-Qaeda. Among other things, Zazi admitted that he brought TATP [Triacetone Triperoxide] explosives to New York on Sept. 10, 2009, as part of plan to attack the New York subway system.

Zazi, 25, a resident of Aurora, Colo., and legal permanent resident of the United States from Afghanistan, entered his guilty plea today before Chief U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie. Zazi faces a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison for the first two counts of the superseding information and an additional 15 years in prison for the third count of the superseding information.


As Zazi admitted during today’s guilty plea allocution and as reflected in previous government filings, he and others agreed to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban and fight against United States and allied forces. In furtherance of their plans, they flew from Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., to Peshawar, Pakistan at the end of August 2008. Although Zazi and others initially intended to fight on behalf of the Taliban, they were recruited by al-Qaeda shortly after arriving in Peshawar. Al-Qaeda personnel transported Zazi and others to the Waziristan region of Pakistan and trained them on several different kinds of weapons. During the training, al-Qaeda leaders asked Zazi and others to return to the United States and conduct suicide operations. They agreed.


“This was one of the most serious terrorist threats to our nation since September 11th, 2001, and were it not for the combined efforts of the law enforcement and intelligence communities, it could have been devastating,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “This attempted attack on our homeland was real, it was in motion, and it would have been deadly. We were able to thwart this plot because of careful analysis by our intelligence agents and prompt actions by law enforcement. They deserve our thanks and praise.”

Note how the superseding information includes conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country (but not such a conspiracy here in the US). I guess that’s a signal that from this plea deal DOJ expects to get a lot more on the people in Pakistan Zazi was working with.

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