posted at 06:50
Author: The Associated Press
Pakistan says top al-Qaeda militant linked to NYC subway plot killed in raid
The military announced Shukrijumah's death in a statement, saying that he was killed along with two other suspected militants in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal area early Saturday. The FBI lists Shukrijumah, a Saudi national, as a "Most wanted" terrorist, and the U.S. State Department had offered up to a $5 million reward for his capture. Federal prosecutors in the U.S. allege Shukrijumah had recruited three men in 2008 to receive training in the lawless tribal region of Pakistan for the subway attack. The three traveled to Pakistan to avenge the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, but were persuaded by al-Qaeda operatives to return to the U.S. for a suicide-bombing mission against a major target, such as the New York Stock Exchange, Times Square or Grand Central Terminal. After the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Shukrijumah was seen as one of al-Qaeda's best chances to attack inside the U.S. or Europe, captured terrorist Abu Zubaydah told U.S. authorities. Shukrijumah studied computer science and chemistry at a community college in Florida, and is thought to be the only al-Qaeda leader to have once held a U.S. green card. In 2004, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft called Shukrijumah a "Clear and present danger" to the U.S. Experts said what made him so dangerous was his firsthand knowledge of the country. The Pakistani military said that Shukrijumah had recently moved from the North Waziristan tribal area to South Waziristan to avoid a military operation the Pakistanis launched in June in North Waziristan.

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