This afternoon, former Queens resident Najibullah Zazi is expected to plead guilty to terrorism charges following his arrest on charges that he was plotting, with others, to coordinate an attack on the New York City transit system. Zazi will appear in federal district court in Brooklyn, according to the Times, where he’ll admit to a conspiracy to detonate bombs here. The Afghanistan native, who was raised in Pakistan (where he later received Al Qaeda training), had lived in Queens and was assembling the materials and instructions necessary to build bombs. “Two people with knowledge of the case said that in recent weeks, Mr. Zazi had begun providing information to prosecutors as part of the initial stages of an agreement that led up to his expected guilty plea Monday,” reports the Times.
“Such an arrangement suggests that prosecutors believe Mr. Zazi can provide valuable information, including evidence about the plot, the involvement of others, including those who may be overseas, and other intelligence on Al Qaeda.” According to some federal officials, this ranks among the greatest security threats on U.S. soil since the attacks of September 11, 2001. And imagine: It was foiled, the suspect was criminally charged, and he will be brought to justice after cooperating by providing key information — all without enhanced interrogation and a military tribunal. It’s enough to remind people that the FBI is also maybe capable of protecting us, after all.