AP Sources: Al-Qaida's Afghan Head Contacted Zazi

By: Adam Goldman and Brett Blackledge AP Email
By: Adam Goldman and Brett Blackledge AP Email

NEW YORK (AP) - Intelligence officials say the terrorist operative who contacted an Afghan immigrant accused of plotting a New York attack was the head of Afghanistan's al-Qaida operations.

The U.S. officials say Mustafa Abu al-Yazid (moo-STAH'-fah AH'-boo ahl yah-ZID') used an intermediary to contact the 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi, of Colorado, as he hatched a plot to attack New York's mass transit system.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case remains under investigation.

Al-Yazid is an Egyptian, an al-Qaida founder and a confidant of Osama bin Laden. The officials declined to describe his specific interaction with Zazi.

Zazi has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.

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