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Father of terror-plotter Zazi faces more charges from feds

Mohammed Wali Zazi (l.) leaves the federal courthouse in Denver with U.S. Marshals in 2009. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski
By Connor Adams Sheets

Federal prosecutors Tuesday hit the father of former Flushing resident and admitted terrorist Najibullah Zazi with eight new charges.

Mohammed Wali Zazi is being charged with four counts of obstruction of justice, two counts of material false statements, and one count each of witness tampering and visa fraud for his alleged role in the cover-up of his son’s terror-planning activities, according to an indictment made public Tuesday.

Mohammed Zazi, 54, a former Flushing resident arrested last year in his current home state of Colorado, pleaded not guilty earlier this year to conspiring with others to get rid of chemicals and other items tied to the plot by his son and others to blow up bombs on subway stations in New York City on or about Sept. 11, 2009. Federal prosecutors said in October that they planned to charge him with additional counts when they were unable to reach a deal with him.

Deborah Colson, Mohammed Zazi’s attorney, said he will also plead not guilty to the new charges, Reuters reported.

“We continue to ask the public to withhold judgment until all the facts are revealed,” Colson said, according to Reuters.

The new charges against Mohammed Zazi in Brooklyn federal court concern his alleged destruction of materials; his alleged “intent to hinder, delay and prevent the communication to one or more law enforcement officers and judges of the United States of information related to the commission and possible commission of one or more Federal offenses”; his allegedly “providing false information in connection with the Federal Terrorism Proceedings”; and his allegedly incorrectly identifying a nephew as his biological son and also as his adopted son, according to the indictment.

He is also accused of falsely telling an FBI agent that “he did not speak to anyone in New York about Najibullah Zazi being in trouble” and that “he did not know anyone named Ahmed Wais,” according to the indictment.

Mohammed Wali Zazi is scheduled to appear in Brooklyn federal court Dec. 9.

One of Najibullah Zazi’s alleged fellow terrorist plotters, Adis Medunjanin, has pleaded not guilty to terror charges, while Imam Ahmad Afzali and Zazi’s co-plotter, Zarein Ahmedzay, have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the plot. Zazi, Medunjanin and Ahmedzay attended Flushing High School together.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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