The Zazi terror plot included plans to use three suicide bombers to hit subways in Times Square in addition to trains going in and out of Grand Central Station. That subways on the West Side of Manhattan in addition to the East Side might have been targeted is new and officials said the suspects hoped to strike both lines during rush hour.
WNBC's Jonathan Dienst first reported that a fourth man was in custody in Pakistan. Several weeks ago, prosecutors and law enforcement officials had said they planned to charge that Pakistani with ties to Al Qaeda. They also said the investigation is ongoing and that more arrests were possible. U.S. officials said they hope to have this suspect extradited from Pakistan so he can stand trial in Brooklyn federal court.
The suspect would join Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin who are set to stand trial on the terror charges. The pair are accused of being the plot's second and third suicide bombers. The leader of the suicide plot, Najibullah Zazi, has pleaded guilty to terror charges . Zazi has made admissions that have helped authorities piece together details of the plot. Attorney General Eric Holder has called the Zazi plot "one of the most serious terrorist threats to our nation since September 11, 2001."
Law enforcement officials confirmed to NBC today that Zazi and his cohorts planned to enter the subways at the Times Square and Grand Central stations. Investigators said with bombs in backpacks or strapped to their bodies, they would choose crowded trains along the 1, 2, 3, and 4,5, 6 lines.
Ahmedzay and Medunjanin went to high school with Zazi in Queens. The three are accused of traveling to Pakistan in 2008 to receive weapons training from al Qaida. Ahmedzay and Medunjanin both have pleaded not guilty.
Zazi, who was working as an airport handler in Denver, came back to New York in the days before the Sept. 11 anniversary last fall. He rode the subway several times, staking out his targets and filming in and around Grand Central, the source told NBC. Mayor Bloomberg reminded New Yorkers the plot was serious and shows how the city remains a top terror target.