WASHINGTON (AP) - Intelligence officials familiar with the investigation say an Afghan immigrant who allegedly planned a New York terror attack also had contact with a senior al-Qaida operative.
The officials tell The Associated Press the CIA learned about Najibullah Zazi (nah-jee-BOO'-lah ZAH'-zee) through one of its sources and alerted domestic agencies.
The intelligence and administration officials declined to offer more details on the operative and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The fact that intelligence officials learned of Zazi through a CIA source sheds more light on the government's claim that the charges against him are part of a broader, international case.
It also shows the case stems from the CIA's counterterrorism efforts to track al-Qaida and not an internal investigation initiated by someone's suspicious actions, like most domestic terrorism cases.