Monday, December 22, 2014

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Terror Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

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TWC News: Terror Suspect Pleads Not Guilty
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The suspect accused of plotting a terrorist bomb attack in the city pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Najibullah Zazi, 24, stayed silent during the 10-minute hearing and is being held without bail.

His attorney entered the plea on his behalf.

Prosecutors say Zazi trained with al-Qaida in Pakistan and was planning an attack to coincide with the September 11th anniversary. They also say he tried to create bombs like those used in the London and Madrid transit attacks.

According to officials, the plot might have targeted mass transit in the New York area. As a result, Zazi was transferred Friday from Colorado, where he faced lesser charges.

A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that investigators have identified at least three possible accomplices of Zazi.

The official says the three people are from New York, but it's not clear where they are now.

Court papers say the alleged accomplices helped Zazi buy beauty products containing hydrogen peroxide and acetone in Colorado.

The chemicals can be used to make homemade bombs. Zazi, who was previously a Queens resident and a coffee vendor near the World Trade Center site, has maintained his innocence. He faced life imprisonment if convicted. He is due back in court in early December.

J. Michael Dowling, Zazi's lawyer, would not comment on the accusations of terrorist training and said that buying beauty products is not against the law. He also denied allegations that his client has collaborators.

"I have not seen any evidence whatsoever of an agreement between Mr. Zazi and anyone else, which is the essence of conspiracy charge," said Dowling. "I'm not saying the government does not have this evidence, but I haven't seen it yet."

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says he believes whatever plot may have once existed now appears to be contained.

"I believe this case has been thwarted, has been broken up," said Kelly. "I see, at this time, no danger emanating from the people involved in this investigation."

Zazi's father and a Queens imam are also charged with lying to federal investigators in connection with the case.

They are both free on bail. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP