That is at best an extreme exaggeration of the value of the cell phone records. I'm sure his data was in the database, and was probably accessed after he was discovered, but his plot was discovered as a result of monitoring that was (or easily would have been) warranted.
On November 9 2009 The Telegraph reported that the operation produced the tip that lead American security officials to place Najibullah Zazi under investigation. British security officials were reported to have intercepted an email from a Pakistani planner to Najibullah Zazi containing instructions on how to conduct his attack.
The alleged plot was unmasked after an email address that was being monitored as part of the abortive Operation Pathway was suddenly reactivated.
Operation Pathway was investigating an alleged UK terrorist cell but went awry after the then Met Police counter-terrorism head Bob Quick was pictured walking into Downing Street displaying top secret documents.
Eleven Pakistani suspects were arrested immediately after the gaffe but later released without charge.
However, security staff continued to monitor the email address which eventually yielded results.