Thursday, September 24, 2009

Colorado man indicted on conspiracy to use WMDs.

A Colorado man arrested in a U.S. terror investigation has been indicted on a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction -- explosive bombs -- against persons or property in the United States, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Najibullah Zazi, 24, has been indicted on a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the U.S.

A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York on Wednesday returned a one-count indictment against Najibullah Zazi, 24, of Aurora, Colorado, a Denver suburb.

The Justice Department said FBI agents in Colorado first arrested Zazi over the weekend in a criminal complaint that said he "knowingly and willfully" made false statements to the FBI involving international and domestic terrorism.

Also arrested were Zazi's father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, 53, also from suburban Denver, and Ahmad Wais Afzali, 37, a Muslim cleric and funeral director from Queens, New York.

All three were arrested late Saturday in what the Justice Department has said was a plot to detonate bombs in the United States. They have been charged with lying to federal agents during the investigation of the alleged plot.

Originally from Afghanistan, Mohammed Wali Zazi is a naturalized U.S. citizen, and Afzali and Najibullah Zazi are permanent legal residents.

The Zazis were arrested in Colorado, and Afzali was detained in New York.

Afzali was ordered released on bond, and his parents are putting up their home in Queens, New York, to secure his $1.5 million bail. He will be allowed to travel to the funeral home to work and the mosque to worship. Additional travel will be allowed on a case-by-case basis.

The Justice Department is working to have Zazi transferred from Colorado to New York to be arraigned on the new charge. If convicted, Zazi faces a potential sentence of life in prison.

The one-count indictment alleges that between August 1, 2008, and September 21, Zazi "knowingly and intentionally conspired with others to use one or more of the explosives."

It said that Zazi and others "traveled in interstate and foreign commerce, used e-mail and the Internet, and that this offense and the results of the offense would have affected interstate and foreign commerce."

"We are investigating a wide range of leads related to this alleged conspiracy, and we will continue to work around the clock to ensure that anyone involved is brought to justice," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. "We believe any imminent threat arising from this case has been disrupted, but as always, we remind the American public to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement."

A government detention motion filed in New York and in Colorado said "Zazi received detailed bomb-making instructions in Pakistan, purchased components of improvised explosive devices, and traveled to New York City on September 10, 2009, in furtherance of his criminal plans."

It said Zazi traveled overseas to receive bomb-making instructions, conducted Internet research on explosives' components and made purchases of components "necessary to produce TATP (Triacetone Triperoxide) and other explosive devices."


No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin