Former Hindu Dhiren Barot, 34, from London, planned “massive explosions” in a synchronised attack in the US and UK.
Barot, who admitted conspiracy to murder last month, planned to pack limousines with gas cylinders and also use a radioactive “dirty” bomb.
Barot, who is to be sentenced on Tuesday, planned to target the IMF and the World Bank in Washington DC.
The New York Stock Exchange building and the Citigroup headquarters, as well as the Prudential building in Newark, New Jersey, were also among his targets.
Lawyers for Barot, from Kingsbury in north-west London, have insisted that the man had neither funding nor bomb-making materials at the time he was caught.
Barot admired the Madrid train bombings and wrote he was bent on creating “another black day for the enemies of Islam and a victory for the Muslims”, prosecution lawyer Edmund Lawson QC said.
At the heart of Barot’s plot was a scheme entitled “gas limos project”, uncovered in a document signed by him and found in Pakistan, Mr Lawson said.
Barot had planned to fill limousines with gas cylinders and detonate them in underground car parks near financial institutions.