Man who plotted NYC bombing to be released from prison

Man who plotted NYC bombing to be released from prison
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The man who plotted to bomb New York City’s subway system before his attempt was foiled will be released from prison after being sentenced to 10 years — time he has already served.

Najibullah Zazi was sentenced Thursday for his role in planning an attack in 2009, according to The Associated Press. Following his arrest, Zazi assisted U.S. authorities in identifying terrorists, particularly members of al Qaeda.

Zazi was recruited to join al Qaeda after a trip to Pakistan in 2008. He was reportedly radicalized and was given explosives training from al Qaeda after his trip and planned with friends to carry out rush hour suicide bombings on New York City’s subway, set to take place on the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Zazi’s attempt was stopped by federal authorities. Zazi pleaded guilty in 2010, but prosecutors rewarded him for his “extraordinary” assistance to authorities since. He helped authorities catch his closest friend and gave counterterrorism officials insight into how al Qaeda operates.

“Zazi’s assistance came in the face of substantial potential danger to himself and his family,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas M. Pravda wrote in the court filing, the AP noted. “By aligning himself with the government against al-Qaida, Zazi assumed such a risk.”

The extent of Zazi’s cooperation included meeting with authorities “more than 100 times, viewing hundreds of photographs and providing information that assisted law enforcement officials in a number of different investigations,” prosecutors said in a court filing.

William Stampur, Zazi’s attorney, said his client could be released from prison “within days.”

“Justice was definitely served,” Stampur said, according to the AP.  “He has unequivocally disavowed radical Islam — in no uncertain terms.”

Another man charged in the subway plot, Zarein Ahmedzay, also provided assistance to federal authorities and was sentenced in December to 10 years, crediting him for time he had already served as well.