From The New York Post
Fiend put out SOS for bomb mix: feds
By KATI CORNELL and MURRAY WEISS in NY and KEITH COFFMAN in Aurora, Colo.
Last Updated: 9:08 AM, September 26, 2009
Posted: 5:26 AM, September 25, 2009
The Muslim fanatic charged with planning massive terror attacks on New York was frantically trying to get recipes for building a diabolical “weapon of mass destruction” in the days before his arrest, authorities claimed yesterday.
Najibullah Zazi, 24, began researching how to make bombs from household ingredients nearly a year ago — but sought “urgent” help in preparing the devices over the past two weeks, according to papers filed yesterday in Brooklyn federal court.
Zazi’s efforts grew increasingly frenzied in the days leading up to the anniversary of 9/11, the feds said.
On Sept. 6 and 7, Zazi holed up in a hotel suite in his hometown of Aurora, Colo., and “attempted to communicate on multiple occasions with another individual — each communication more urgent in tone than the last — seeking to correct mixtures of ingredients to make explosives,” a frightening detention memo says.
“Zazi repeatedly emphasized . . . that he needed the answers right away.”
Court papers say little about where and when the alleged attacks were to occur, but counterterrorism officials fear Zazi planned to target passenger trains and stadiums.
Residue from acetone, one of the three main components of the explosive he allegedly planned to detonate, was found in a vent above a stove in the hotel room, where authorities believe Zazi was creating a highly concentrated form of the material.
More than a year earlier, in August 2008, Zazi traveled to Pakistan, where he used three e-mail accounts to store jpeg images of “nine handwritten notes containing formulations and instructions regarding the manufacture and handling of different kinds of explosives,” court papers say.
Zazi, an airport shuttle driver who lived in Flushing, Queens, before his overseas trip, flew back to New York in January 2009 and moved to Aurora, where he allegedly continued trolling the Internet for bomb-making information.
Over the summer, he and at least three unidentified cohorts bought “unusually large quantities” of the explosive ingredients from beauty-supply stores in the Denver area, the papers say.
According to one law-enforcement official, Zazi’s associates traveled to Colorado specifically to help him stockpile the materials, bought with stolen credit cards.
Zazi also searched the Internet for home-improvement stores in Queens — presumably as a source for additional bomb-making materials, the feds said — before renting a car Sept. 8 and driving to New York.
But he’d been under surveillance and agents were right behind him. They stopped him on the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 10.
Still under surveillance, he was allowed to return to Colorado, where he was formally arrested in Aurora on Sept. 19.
Prosecutors in Colorado yesterday dismissed relatively minor charges that Zazi lied to the feds — so he could be brought to New York to face charges of “conspiracy to use one or more weapons of mass destruction.”
His father, Mohammed Zazi, 53, also charged with lying, but not in the alleged bomb plot, was released to an undisclosed location and will have to wear a monitoring device. Sources said he’d gotten threats and didn’t want to return to his apartment.
Also yesterday, Ahmad Wais Afzali, one of several Queens residents whose homes was raided after Zazi’s arrest, was in Brooklyn federal court and released on $1.5 million bail on a charge of lying to investigators. He, too, has to wear a monitoring device.
Police suspect Afzali, a Muslim cleric and sometime informant for the NYPD, tipped Zazi that he was being watched. “I never did, never will, and would never do it,” he said outside his home.
He admitted only that, in his role as an imam, he knew Zazi when the alleged terrorist was 14.
Zazi has denied any involvement in terrorist activities.
Meanwhile, as The Post reported Sunday, a senior NYPD commander in the terror probe, Inspector Paul Ciorra, has been transferred amid questions about the handling of Afzali. The imam telephoned Zazi after detectives from Ciorra’s division started asking questions about him around Queens earlier this month.
A source told The Associated Press he’ll head the Highway Patrol.
Additional reporting by Austin Fenner and Julia Dahl, with AP
Meanwhile in Canada, Zazi’s angry relatives claim his arrest is the result of nothing more than racism because he is Afghan and a Muslim…….
From The Calgary Herald.