Pakistan kills al Qaeda leader linked to NYC subway plot

The Pakistani military early Saturday killed an al Qaeda official wanted in connection with a plan to bomb the New York City Subway.

Pakistani fighters killed Adnan el Shukrijumah in a battle that ensued during a pre-dawn raid that was intended to recover Chinese hostages, Reuters reported.

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“In an intelligence borne operation, top al Qaeda leader Adnan el Shukrijumah was killed by (the) Pakistan Army in an early morning raid in Shinwarsak, South Waziristan today,” the Pakistani military told Reuters in a statement. 

Two of Shukrijumah’s colleagues were also killed. South Waziristan borders Afghanistan.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wanted Shukrijumah, 39, on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and to commit murder in a foreign country.

They believed he was highly involved in a plot, uncovered in September 2009, to bomb New York City’s subway system, which officials described as the most serious threat to the city since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Reuters said.

The United States also linked Shukrijumah to a group of suspects believed to have plotted to bomb fuel lines at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Pakistani officials brought in helicopters and a convoy of military vehicles to the town just before dawn Saturday and headed to a house known to be a Taliban stronghold, Reuters reported.

Militants in the house opened fire on the military and Shukrijumah was killed in the gun battle that resulted. Officials took five others into custody, believed to be his wife and children.