Thursday, September 24, 2009

Zazi Indicted On WMD Charges

The Justice Department today announced that Najibullah Zazi, 24, a resident of Aurora, Colo., and legal permanent resident of the United States from Afghanistan, has been indicted in the Eastern District of New York on a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in the United States.

FBI agents in Colorado first arrested last week charging him with knowingly and willfully making false statements to the FBI which was questioning him in conjunction with a terrorism investigation. Two men in New York were also charged with lying to federal agents.

The government will make a motion to dismiss the initial charge against Zazi and that he be transferred to New York to face the new charge.

According to the indictment, 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 United States. The indictment also alleges that, Zazi and others traveled in interstate and foreign commerce, used email and the Internet, and that this offense and the results of the offense would have affected interstate and foreign commerce.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the investigation continues.

“We are investigating a wide range of leads related to this alleged conspiracy," he said.

Court documents show that the government alleges that Zazi received detailed bomb-making instructions in Pakistan, purchased components of improvised explosive devices, and traveled to New York City on September 10, 2009 to further carry out his terrorist plan. If convicted Zazi could be sentenced to life in prison.

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