Father of NY terror plot suspect pleads not guilty
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – The father of an airport driver accused of trying to cook up homemade bombs in a Colorado hotel for an attack on New York City pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he tried to get rid of chemicals and other evidence, prosecutors said.
FBI agents had arrested Mohammed Wali Zazi this month at his home in a Denver suburb after a previous charge, lying to the government, was dropped.
An indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn accused Zazi of conspiring with others to destroy or hide “glasses, masks, liquid chemicals and containers” that were evidence in a foiled terrorism plot.
At a brief court appearance in Brooklyn on Tuesday, a judge ordered Zazi – father of terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi – ordered held without bail, prosecutors said. There was no immediate response to a phone message left with his attorney, prosecutors said.
He was scheduled to return to court March 2.
The government alleges Najibullah Zazi and others bought beauty supplies in Colorado to make peroxide-based bombs and that he tried to mix the explosives in a hotel room there. Last fall, he drove to New York, where investigators say they lifted notes on bomb-making from his computer.
Authorities have said they believe Zazi, who was arrested in September, wanted to attack New York’s transit system – a terrorism case Attorney General Eric Holder called the most serious since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Two New Yorkers have also been charged but were not directly linked to the foiled bomb plot. Authorities have said the two, Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay, traveled to Pakistan, where Zazi allegedly received training in explosives from al-Qaida.
Ahmedzay, a 24-year-old cab driver, has pleaded not guilty to lying to the FBI during the probe about places he visited during the 2008 trip.
The three men, former high school classmates in Queens, have denied any wrongdoing.
Officials have confirmed reports week that Zazi’s uncle had been arraigned on a felony count in secret – a sign that he could be cooperating.
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