Authorities Arrest 3 In NYC Terror Plot Probe


terroristTerror raids in New York City and Colorado have led to three arrests: the FBI’s main target, his father and a community leader from Queens are in custody. This is the latest development in the FBI’s effort to stop a possible New York City bomb plot, orchestrated by al-Qaida. Two of the three men are behind bars in Denver, while the other is in custody here. All are charged with lying to the FBI, in a case that has put New York City residents and law enforcement officials on edge.25-year-old Najibullah Zazi, whose cross-country drive from Denver to Queens sparked terror raids in two states, is going nowhere. He’s behind bars, hauled in along with his father in Colorado and another man in Queens.

37-year-old Ahmad Afzali, who is an imam at an Islamic center in Flushing, is accused of double-crossing the FBI by agreeing to get information on Zazi, but warning him instead.

In the federal complaint, Afzali is quoted as saying, “listen, our phone call is being monitored.”

“He was as cooperative as he possibly could be, and now he finds himself charged with a crime because, in this case, it was the government screwed up,” Afzali’s attorney, Ron Kuby, said. “The government … moved too early, before they had any sort of a case against Zazi.”

He said Afzali did not tip off Zazi, because Zazi already knew he was under suspicion for a possible plot to blow up targets in New York City.

US intelligence sources say Zazi made several trips to Pakistan, and had contact with a known al-Qaida operative. The sources say Zazi had documents and hand-written notes about bomb-making, plus information and video about possible targets, including Grand Central Station. Backpacks, cell phones, batteries and a scale were also recovered during the raids in Queens.

“Terrorism is still with us,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “It is dangerous out there.”

Making false statements to federal agents in an ongoing terrorism investigation carries a sentence of up to eight years behind bars. Zazi and his father Mohammed Wali Zazi will be arraigned in Denver. Afzali will appear in Federal Court in Brooklyn.

{CBS Broadcasting/ Newscenter}