Thursday, March 04, 2010

Najibullah Zazi's Imam Pleads Guilty To Lying To FBI

Najibullah Zazi's imam has entered a guilty plea of lying to authorities in the terror case.
Ahmad Afzali, 39, appeared in Brooklyn federal court, saying "he had no idea" of how serious the plot was against the city.

"I thought they had perhaps fallen in with the wrong people," a tearful Afzali told a judge when speaking of the accused plotters.
He will be sentenced April 8. From his allocution:
On September 11th, I called Najibullah Zazi. His telephone number had been given to me by his father. During that conversation, I told Najibullah that law enforcement authorities had been to see me about him. I told him that I wanted to set up a meeting with the authorities over the next few days. I told him that our phone call was being monitored. I told Zazi, "Don’t get involved in Afghanistan garbage and Iraq garbage, that’s my advice to you."

On September 13th, in the evening, I was taken by the police to 26 Federal Plaza, where I was interrogated by FBI agents for the first time. I believed that the FBI was angry at me for calling Zazi. When I was asked whether I had told Zazi about law enforcement being interested in him, I lied and said I did not. My intention was not to protect Zazi, but to protect myself.

On September 18th, I was again interrogated at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn and I repeated the same lie. In doing so, I failed to live up to my obligation to this country, my community, my family, and my religion. I am truly sorry.
Under the deal, Afzali has to leave the US within 90 days of the sentencing.

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