NEW YORK — An admitted al-Qaida recruit testified Wednesday that he and two friends were determined to “weaken America” by strapping on suicide bombs and attacking New York City subways around the eighth anniversary of 9/11, but now hopes for redemption.
“I believe my crimes are very bad,” Najibullah Zazi said on cross-examination. “If God gave me a second chance, I would appreciate it and will be a very good human being.”
Earlier, Zazi told a federal jury at his alleged accomplice’s trial that he slipped detonator ingredients into the city on Sept. 10, 2009, after the chemicals extracted from beauty supplies passed a test run.
Using code words, he then frantically emailed one of his al-Qaida handlers to get the exact formula for building homemade bombs to go with detonators.
“The marriage is ready,” Zazi wrote — signaling that he and two of his radicalized former high school classmates from Queens were ready to die as martyrs.
Zazi said the plot _ financed in part by $50,000 in credit card charges he never intended by to pay back — was abandoned after he noticed that everywhere he drove in New York, a car followed.
The 26-year-old Zazi testified for a second day at the trial of Medunjanin in federal court in Brooklyn. He was to return to the witness stand on Thursday for more cross-examination.
Prosecutors say that Zazi, Medunjanin and Ahmedzay — after growing upset over the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and receiving terror training at an al-Qaida compound in Pakistan — together hatched what authorities have described as one of the most serious terror plots since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.