US officials: Al-Qaida operative tied to NY plot

U.S. counterterrorism officials have linked one of the nation's most wanted terrorists to last year's thwarted plot to bomb the New York City subway system, authorities said Wednesday.

Current and former counterterrorism officials said top al-Qaida operative Adnan Shukrijumah met with one of the would-be suicide bombers in a plot that Attorney General Eric Holder called one of the most dangerous since the 9/11 terror attacks.Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have named Shukrijumah in a draft terrorism indictment but on Wednesday the Justice Department was still discussing whether to cite his role.
Some officials feared that the extra attention might hinder efforts to capture him.Shukrijumah's involvement shows how important the subway bombing plot was to al-Qaida's senior leadership. Intelligence officials believe Shukrijumah is one of the top candidates to become al-Qaida's next head of external operations, the man in charge of planning attacks worldwide.

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