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– 3 ARRESTED OVER N.Y TERROR PLOT

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3 men have been arrested, including Najibullah Zazi , in connection with an alleged plot to launch an attack in the United States, the US Justice Department said, on Sunday 09/20/2009.

Two Afghan-born men, a father and son, were arrested in Denver, Colorado. A third man, also from Afghanistan, was later detained in New York, the department said. The men are accused of making false statements related to “a matter involving international and domestic terrorism”, the statement said.

The FBI was investigating several people “in the United States, Pakistan and elsewhere, relating to a plot to detonate improvised explosive devices in the United States”, the Justice Department said in court documents related to the arrests.

US media have reported that the investigation was focusing on a possible plan to attack a public area in New York.

David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security, said the arrests were part of “an ongoing and fast-paced investigation…It is important to note that we have no specific information regarding the timing, location or target of any planned attack,” AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

There were plans for an attack, presumably in the New York area, where crowds are large and security screening for no airport travelers is lax, the sources said.

Two sources familiar with the investigation said that Zazi had video of New York’s Grand Central Terminal, a massive junction of rail and subway lines, as well as shops and restaurants, which see an average of more than a half million visitors per day.

 

He and his father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, 53, will appear in court in Colorado on Monday. Ahmad Wais Afzali, 37, will appear in court in New York the same day.
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Ahmad Wais Afzali serves as a popular imam in Al-Bakar Mosque in Queens. According to his lawyer he was an informant of the FBI in the Muslim community and was dragged into the case after he was asked by the FBI to look after Najibullah Zazi and his father – Mohammed Zazi.  FBI said Ahmad Wais Afzali actually warned Najibullah zazi that he was under investigation and helped to disrupt the investigation in a premature stage.

In a telephone interview with the Denver Post newspaper, on Saturday 09/19/2009, Najibullah Zazi denied media reports that he had admitted any link to Al Qaeda or involvement in terrorism.

On Tuesday 09/22/2009, Mohammed Zazi has been bailed, under electronic monitoring, on condition that he stays at home.

Investigators are focusing on about a dozen more people in connection with a wide-ranging terror investigation that has netted arrests in Colorado and New York City, a source familiar with the investigation said Tuesday.

The investigation triggered a mass transit terror warning all over USA, but more specifically in New York, were most of the world leaders gathered for the annual general assembly meeting in the UN.
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* 25-year-old Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay were taken into federal custody, on Friday 01/08/2010 morning, by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Queens, New York City, in connection with the ongoing investigation of Zazis Plot (see – Adis and Zarein)..
* The father Mohammed Wali Zazi was charged in New York, on 02/01/2010, with conspiring to obstruct a criminal investigation of the matter (see – M. Zazis Charges). He pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn court, on Thursday 03/09/2010. .
* Ahmad Wais Afzali was sentenced, on Thursday 04/15/2010, to time already served but was ordered to leave USA within 90 days.  Ahmad Wais Afzali responded and said “I’ve just signed my death sentence. I grew up here. I barely speak my own language. I’m between a rock and a wall. Helping the government and here is what I get”. On Monday 07/05/2010, Imam Ahmad Wais Afzali and his wife left USA in a flight to Saudi Arabia. 

 

* The alleged leader of Al Qaeda in UK, Abid Nasser, has been arrested in Manchester, on Wednesday 07/07/2010, after the USA issued a warrant for his arrest, related to Zazi’s Plot in New York, in 09/2009. Three of Abid Nasser associates were arrested in Norway, on Thursday 07/08/2010 (see – Norwegian Arrests ).

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