Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers criminal justice, terrorism and the courts for WNYC. She found her way into public radio after practicing law for five years, and can definitely say that walking the streets of New York City with a microphone is a lot more fun than being holed up in the office writing letters to opposing counsel.
Al Qaeda Leader Charged in Bomb Plot
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Federal prosecutors say a failed plan to blow up New York City subways last fall was planned and directed by Al Qaeda leaders, and had connections to another plot in Manchester, England.
In a new indictment unsealed Wednesday, prosecutors added four defendants to the case, including senior Al Qaeda leader Adnan Shukrijumah.
The indictment says Shukrijumah helped recruit three people to conduct suicide bombings in New York City, including Najibullah Zazi, the Denver airport shuttle bus driver who pleaded guilty to charges he plotted to blow up homemade explosives in the subways at rush hour.
The indictment also says an Al Qaeda facilitator in Pakistan used the same email account to send coded messages to Zazi and one of the Manchester plotters, Abid Naseer.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says Shukrijumah has been on the NYPD's radar since 2002.
“We know he spent time in New York City. We know he spent time in Florida. His father had a mosque in Florida. His father is deceased,” Kelly said. Prosecutors say Shukrijumah received flight training at around the same time as the 9/11 hijackers.
Shukrijumah remains at large, though, and the U.S. is offering $5 million to anyone with information leading to his capture.
Attorney General Eric Holder has called the subway bomb plot one of the most dangerous since 9/11.