US terrorism suspect pleads guilty to al Qaeda bomb plot

[JURIST] Suspected terrorist Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty [press release] Monday to three criminal charges of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction in the US and to commit murder in a foreign country, as well as providing material support for al Qaeda. At Monday's hearing in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website], Zazi acknowledged [transcript] the three counts of superseding information for which he now faces up to life in prison for two of the counts, and 15 years in prison for the third. Zazi's sentencing is scheduled for June.

Zazi is a native of Afghanistan who was arrested [BBC report] by FBI agents in Colorado last fall. He was originally charged with making false statements to the FBI. In September, Zazi was indicted [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] and pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to the charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. At the time, prosecutors from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] said that they had significant information to use against Zazi, while his lawyer countered that the prosecution could not prove Zazi's guilt unless they identified the other conspirators. Zazi's father was released [NYT report] last week on bail, having been charged with conspiring to destroy evidence of his son's activities. Two other men, Adis Medunjanin [JURIST report] and Zarein Ahmedzay, have been charged with conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country and of receiving military training from al Qaeda in connection with the plot.

 

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