NEW YORK -- A former Denver airport shuttle driver admitted Monday to a plot to bomb the New York City subways, saying he was recruited by al-Qaida in Pakistan for a "martyrdom plan" against the United States.
"I would sacrifice myself to bring attention to what the U.S.
military was doing to civilians in Afghanistan," Najibullah Zazi,
25, told a federal judge in a Brooklyn courtroom.
Zazi said he went to Pakistan in 2008 to join the Taliban and
fight against the U.S. military but was recruited by the terrorist
network and went into a training camp.
He admitted building homemade explosives with beauty supplies
purchased in the Denver suburbs and cooked up in a Colorado hotel
room, then driving them cross-country to New York City just before
the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Zazi told authorities he disposed of the explosives once
arriving in New York.
He said the terrorism plot was aimed at the city subway system
but wouldn't name a specific target when asked by U.S. District
Judge Raymond Dearie.
Zazi was arrested in the fall after arousing authorities'
suspicions by driving cross-country from Denver to New York around
the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that the
jailed Zazi jailed Zazi recently volunteered information about the
bomb plot during a meeting with his attorney and federal
prosecutors in Brooklyn. The sit-down, known as a proffer session,
typically signals that a defendant has begun cooperating in a bid
for a plea deal.
One of the people familiar with the Zazi case told the AP that
Zazi decided to offer the information after being warned that his
mother could face criminal immigration charges. The officials spoke
on condition of anonymity because the investigation is in progress.
Zazi's attorney, William Stampur, would only say after the
hearing Monday: "The plea speaks for itself."