The war on terrorism has not been an easy task. But it’s only made more difficult when Americans like Vinas help out major terrorist organizations.
By Sebastian Rotella and Josh Meyer
WASHINGTON — An American from New York’s Long Island who was captured while fighting as an al-Qaida militant in Pakistan has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to commit murder outside the United States and is cooperating with authorities, according to a federal indictment and interviews with U.S. and European officials.
Bryant Neal Vinas, 26, is one of a handful of Americans known to have made the trek to al-Qaida’s secret Pakistani compounds, and his cooperation is opening a rare window into the world of Western militants in the network’s hide-outs, anti-terrorism officials said.
Vinas has admitted to meeting al-Qaida operations chiefs and giving them information for a potential attack on New York commuter trains, conversations that resulted in an alert in November, said the officials, who requested anonymity because the case is ongoing.