A Colorado man lied to FBI?agents and helped destroy chemicals used by his son to build homemade bombs intended for an attack on New York City’s subway system, a prosecutor said at trial yesterday.
Afghanistan-born U.S. citizen Mohammed Zazi, 55, is on trial for charges of obstructing the investigation into a plot by his son, Najibullah Zazi, 26, to bomb the subway in 2009.
In opening arguments to a Brooklyn federal court jury, prosecutor Andrew Goldsmith said the FBI was frantically trying to stop a suspected attack when they showed up on Mohammed Zazi’s doorstep in Aurora, Colo., in September 2009.
Goldsmith said that Mohammed Zazi’s efforts to thwart the investigation included telling family members to lie and helping to destroy chemicals, masks and other evidence.
“In the midst of trying to stop this terrorist attack on New York City, the FBI wasted time and resources trying to untangle the defendant’s lies,” Goldsmith told jurors.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the plot the most serious security threat in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Najibullah Zazi admitted to having traveled to Pakistan, where he was recruited by al Qaeda and received bomb-making instructions.
When he returned, he put into motion a plan to bomb the New York City subway system near the Sept. 11 anniversary.