US Officials: Al Qaeda Operative Tied to NY Plot

NEW YORK -- Counterterrorism officials have linked one of the nation's most wanted terrorists to last year's thwarted plot to bomb the New York subway system.

Authorities believe that Adnan Shukrijumah (ahd-NAHN' el SHOOK'-ree joohm-HAH') met with one of the would-be suicide bombers in a plot that Attorney General Eric Holder called one of the most dangerous since 9/11.

Officials say Shukrijumah is among the top candidates to be Al Qaeda's next head of external operations, the man in charge of planning attacks worldwide.

Federal prosecutors have named Shukrijumah in a draft indictment but were still discussing whether to pursue it. Some feared the extra attention would hinder efforts to capture him.

Current and former officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it.