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Afghan immigrant likely to face more charges in alleged terror plot

Prosecutors says it's 'likely there will be additional charges' against Najibullah Zazi, 24, who has denied conspiring to bomb targets in New York using homemade explosives.

December 04, 2009|By Tina Susman

Reporting from New York — An Afghan native accused of plotting to bomb targets in New York using homemade explosives mixed from hair dye and other beauty products is likely to face additional charges, prosecutors said today.

Najibullah Zazi, 24, was arrested in September and has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction. Zazi was living in Denver when he was arrested but is being held in New York, where prosecutors said the alleged plot was due to unfold on the most recent anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I think it's likely there will be additional charges," Assistant U.S. Atty. Jeffrey Knox said during a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn. Knox also said the evidence that prosecutors had to sort through was "voluminous" and included e-mails and telephone conversations, many of them requiring translation from Pashtun, Arabic and Dari.

Zazi, who has pleaded not guilty, is not expected to face trial until next fall at the earliest due to the mountain of evidence.

Zazi's father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, 53, and Ahmad Wais Afzali, a 37-year-old Queens imam and occasional New York police informant, are charged with lying to authorities during the investigation into the alleged plot. Both have pleaded not guilty and are free on bail.

Zazi is being held without bond.

tina.susman@latimes.com

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