If the terror charges filed yesterday against Najibullah Zazi are true, a fairly large number of his co-conspirators must still be at large. The impressive evidence presented yesterday against the 24-year-old Afghan immigrant indicates the cooperation of a number of other men: the man he consulted in cooking up the bombs in a Colorado hotel, the men who trained him and gave him notes on bomb design in Pakistan, and the men who housed him in NYC and planned to wear the backpacks that were seized in a Queens apartment.
WCBS 2 quotes an official familiar with the investigation who said that several men from NYC visited Zazi in Colorado, where they helped him buy bomb-making chemicals (including "Ion Sensitive Scalp Developer" and "Clairoxide") with stolen credit cards. It is not clear if these are the same men Zazi stayed with in Queens, but can't they be held for credit card fraud at least? And don't forget about the seven men who attempted to rent a "jumbo-sized supermover truck" at a St. Albans U-Haul without ID and with stolen credit cards. At any rate, the NY Times reports that given the "accumulating evidence" in the government's investigation, some investigators believe this is terror case is "the most serious in years."
Zazi is the only person who has been implicated in the plot so far—the charges filed against Zazi's father Mohammed Zazi and Flushing imam Ahmad Wais Afzali, who is back at his home on Parsons Boulevard in Queens, after posting $1.5 million bail. Afzali told reporters, "I've been living in America for the past 30 years. I've been raised in the same house that you see. This is my land, this is my country, and I love this place," while his lawyer Ron Kuby said, "Obviously, the government would not be consenting to bail if it thought he was involved in a terrorism conspiracy." Interesting tidbit: Afzali was busted for grabbing a women's butt back in 1992.
Zazi's case may soon be transferred to Brooklyn Federal Court, if charges indicate that the terror plots specifically targeted New York rather than Colorado.