Imam that Tipped off New York Subway Bomber Leaves America
by IPT News • Jul 6, 2010 at 5:09 pm
A New York Imam, Ahmad Wais Afzali, has left the United States and agreed not to return as part of a plea agreement in connection with the attempted bombing of the New York City subway system that was thwarted by federal authorities last year.
Last September, federal authorities uncovered a plot to use at least a dozen small backpack bombs to devastate the subway system in New York—an attack which Attorney General Eric Holder called “one of the most serious terrorist threats to our nation since September 11, 2001.” As the case unfolded, new details revealed that while U.S. authorities were investigating the attempted attack, local Imam Afzali inadvertently tipped off the prime suspect.
On September 10, detectives from the New York Police Department met with Afzali, who had served as an informant in the past. During the meeting, detectives showed Afzali photos of Zazi and others. The following day, Afzali contacted Zazi and told him that the police were asking questions about him. According to an affidavit filed in support of an arrest warrant, Afzali said:
“I want to speak with you about something…I want a meeting with you…You probably know why I’m calling you for this meeting…I was exposed to something yesterday from the authorities. And they came to ask me about your characters. They asked me about you guys.
I’m not sure if somebody complained about you. I’m not sure what happened. And I don’t want to know…They said, ‘please, we need to know who they are…what they’re all about.’ … And I told them that they are innocent, law abiding…”
As a result of Afzali’s actions, authorities, who had been recording Zazi’s conversations, were forced to conduct hurried raids to prevent the fleeing of suspects and the destruction of evidence.