3 arrested in terror probe

2009-09-20 09:44

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Denver - A 24-year-old Colorado airport shuttle driver and his father were arrested on formal charges of making false statements to federal agents in an ongoing terror investigation, and a third man was arrested in New York City on the same charges, the Justice Department said on Sunday.

Najibullah Zazi, 24, and his father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, 53, were arrested by federal agents late on Saturday at their suburban Denver homes. Ahmad Wais Afzali, 37, of Flushing, New York, also was arrested, the Justice Department said.

Each was charged with knowingly and willfully making false statements to the FBI "in a matter involving international and domestic terrorism," the department said in a statement.

The Zazis were scheduled to appear in federal court in Denver on Monday, it said. Afzali was to appear Monday in federal court in the Eastern District of New York.

Build explosives

If convicted, each would face eight years in prison.

The FBI is investigating several individuals in the United States, Pakistan and elsewhere in an alleged plot to detonate explosive devices in the United States, the Justice Department said.

In supporting documents filed with the court, federal investigators say a September 11 search of Zazi's rental car in New York turned up a laptop computer that contained an image of nine pages of handwritten notes. Those notes included formulas and instructions about how to build explosives, detonators and other components of a fusing circuit.

Zazi allegedly was asked about the notes during FBI interviews last week and said he knew nothing about them, the documents said.

The FBI's court filings also say Zazi admitted to FBI agents last week that in 2008 he received weapons and explosives training at an al-Qaeda training facility in Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

Zazi has repeatedly denied any connection to al-Qaida or to a purported terrorist plot.

- AP

Read more on:    al qaeda  |  new york  |  terror  |  terror attack
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