Updated 04/24/2010 11:29 AM
Zazi Accomplice Pleads Guilty To Terror Charges
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One of the suspects accused of conspiring to bomb city subways last year pleaded guilty to terrorism charges on Friday afternoon.
Zarein Ahmedzay entered a guilty plea in Brooklyn federal court to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of destruction and providing material support to the al-Qaida terrorism network.
Ahmedzay, a 25-year-old former cab driver and father of two, admitted to meeting with top al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan, who he said told him his desire to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan would be better served by killing American civilians in New York City. He also admitted to stockpiling acetone and peroxide to create weapons.
A one-time Flushing High School classmate of admitted terror plotter Najibullah Zazi, Ahmedzay is also accused of making false statements to the FBI about the plan to attack the subways around the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.
After entering his plea, Ahmedzay quoted from the Quran and said, "I strongly urge the American people to stop supporting the war against Islam and it would be in their own interest.... I'm thankful for myself that I did not do anything to harm anyone but I'm fearful that someone else may do the same thing."
His statement ended, "[T]he real enemies of this country are the ones destroying this country from within. There's a special group of Zionist Jews that run a permanent shadow government of the United States of America."
Ahmedzay's attorney, Michael Marinaccio, addressed his client's statements outside court but would not comment on the anti-Semitic remark.
"My client did indicate during his allocution that he did have moments of doubt and the statement that he made that he was thankful that he didn't go through with it, I think, was heartfelt," said Marinaccio. "Other than that, I'll let the statement speak for itself."
Marinaccio would also not say whether Ahmedzay is cooperating with authorities.
Ahmedzay is expected to be sentenced in the summer and faces life in prison.
Another alleged accomplice in the plot, Adis Medunjanin, remains jailed on conspiracy charges.
Zazi pleaded guilty and is expected to receive a life sentence at his sentencing in June.
Ahmad Afzali, a Queens imam who pleaded guilty to lying to authorities in the case, was recently ordered to leave the country.