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US citizen captured in Pakistan gives window into Al Qaeda's world

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In a rare opportunity for Western counterintelligence officials, an American citizen who reportedly trained with Al Qaeda in Pakistan is now cooperating with authorities.

Bryant Neal Vinas, born in Queens and raised on Long Island, was arrested by Pakistani authorities in November. He was handed over to US authorities and in January pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder for a rocket attack on US forces in Afghanistan, receiving military-type training from a terrorist group, and providing material support to a terrorist organization, according to documents unsealed Wednesday.

While an extremely small group of Americans have trained with Al Qaeda overseas, Mr. Vinas may be the first to have had extensive access to top leaders and operational planning meetings. He told authorities that he provided expert information to terrorist leaders about the Long Island Railroad commuter train to help plan a possible attack. The information caused a security clamp down on the railway in November, reports the BBC.

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