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  ..[ ].. > > ( ) ( Department of General military subjec
 


US Charges Suspect with WMD Plot

( ) ( Department of General military subjec


 

24-09-09, 09:36 PM

  : 1

US Charges Suspect with WMD Plot



 

US Charges Suspect with WMD Plot

WASHINGTON -- A New York grand jury on Thursday, September 24, charged an Afghan-born US resident with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to blow up unspecified targets in the United States. [Najibullah Zazi] knowingly and intentionally conspired with others to use one or more weapons of mass destruction, specifically explosive bombs and other similar explosive devices, against persons or property within the US," said a statement cited by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Zazi, a 24-year-old immigrant from Afghanistan, is a legal permanent resident of the US.
He was working as a airport-shuttle driver in Aurora, Colorado, and former longtime resident of the New York City borough of Queens.
Prosecutors say he "purchased components of improvised explosive devices" and allegedly *****d them up in a hotel suite earlier this month.
The indictment charges that Zazi's trip from Colorado to New York on September 10 was "in furtherance of his criminal plans" to detonate explosive devices within the US.
The FBI says it found an image on his laptop containing nine pages of handwritten notes on bomb-making and handling.
Prosecutors described Zazi as "both a danger to the community and a risk of flight."
The Justice Department said they planned to request that Zazi be transferred to New York to face the charge, which carries a life sentence.
Zazis father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, 53, and Ahmad Wais Afzali, 37, a local imam in New York, were arrested with him.
Both face charges of making false statements to federal agents.
Al-Qaeda Link
The FBI claims Zazi had admitted to receiving explosives training during 2008 from al-Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan before returning to the US.
Zazi, who moved to Pakistan at the age of 7 and emigrated to the US in 1999, has been under surveillance by the FBI since returning from the Pakistan visit.
Investigators are combing records on the purchases of chemicals, particularly hydrogen peroxide, that could be used to make bombs.
Peroxide-based explosives were used in the 7/7 suicide bombings on a London bus and underground trains that killed 52 people on July 7, 2005.
"This appears to be different than any of the previous cases because it looks very similar to what we've seen recently in Europe," one official told the Wall Street Journal.
Current and former officials say Zazi's profile is also a factor leading them toward their conclusion of an al Qaeda link.
"The best chance for success [al-Qaeda leaders] have is to get somebody who is not a visitor, so they come in as a permanent resident or citizen, who knows the culture and how to move around, who doesn't have a record, so as not to get picked up in a database," said a former senior US official.
FBI Director Robert Mueller had before warned against the desire by al-Qaeda to train operatives in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area and "insert such individuals in the US.
It appears to be only the second time a US citizen or permanent resident is alleged to have traveled overseas after 9/11 to train with al-Qaeda, then come back to live in the US.
"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."
Zazi has denied any connection to al-Qaeda or any terror plot and his lawyer insists he was in Pakistan to visit his wife, who lives there

 

 


 

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