The father of admitted New York City subway bombing plotter Najibullah Zazi is most likely headed for trial on charges that he disposed of his son’s bomb-making materials, according to federal prosecutors.
Mohammed Zazi, 54, a former Flushing resident arrested in his current home state of Colorado last year, and his lawyers, Deborah Colson and Justine Harris, have been unable to reach a deal with federal prosecutors, despite cooperation on the part of his son, who pleaded guilty to terror charges earlier this year and fingered other members of his terror plot.
As a result, prosecutors announced in court last week that a superseding indictment against the elder Zazi should be expected in the next month, according to Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.
“The government intends to file a superseding indictment in preparation of trial,” Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney James Loonam told the judge during a Sept. 29 hearing, according to the New York Post. “The indictment will flesh out the same charges with more detail.”
The elder Zazi is charged with conspiring with others to get rid of chemicals, containers, masks and other items tied to the plot by Zazi and others to blow up bombs on subway stations in New York City on or about Sept. 11, 2009.
Zazi, 54, who lives in Colorado, is charged with conspiring with others to get rid of liquid chemicals, masks, glasses and containers tied to the terror plot.
Colson declined to comment directly on the expected indictment until it is unsealed.
“Mr. [Mohammed] Zazi maintains his innocence and we do ask that the public withhold judgment until the facts are brought to light in court,” she said Tuesday. “We do expect that there will be a trial.”
Federal Judge Raymond Dearie asked Mohammed Zazi to return to court Dec. 9, when Dearie is expected to set a trial date, according to Nardoza.
Mohammed Zazi faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted. He remains free on $50,000 bail.
FBI Director Robert Mueller told the U.S. Senate last month that Najibullah Zazi represents a new era of plots by Al Qaeda to carry out terror plots in the United States, according to the Post.
“The 2009 plot led by Najibullah Zazi to attack the New York subway was the first known instance since 9/11 that Al Qaeda had successfully deployed a trained operative into the United States,” Mueller said.
In related developments, Faisal Shahzad, a 31-year-old naturalized American, who was born in Pakistan and lived in Connecticut, was sentenced in Manhattan District Court Tuesday to life in prison for his plans to ignite a bomb in Times Square May 1. Shahzad pleaded guilty in June to the bombing attempt — which failed when the bomb failed to explode.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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