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Cousin of Accused Would-Be Subway Bomber: I Was In On It

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A cousin of accused would-be terrorist Najibullah Zazi publicly admitted for the first time Monday that he was in on Zazi's alleged 2009 plot to blow up New York City subway cars.

Testifying at the obstruction-of-justice trial of Zazi's father in federal court in Brooklyn, Amanullah Zazi told jurors that he introduced cousin Najibullah Zazi to a cleric in Pakistan who arranged for him and two friends from Queens to get training at an al-Qaeda outpost.

Amanullah was living in Pakistan at the time.

Last year, Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty to charges including providing material support for a terrorist organization, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. He's currently awaiting sentencing.

Amanullah Zazi pleaded guilty in secret and agreed to become a government witness in the case against Najibullah Zazi's father— Mohammed Wali Zazi — who was charged in an alleged cover-up.

The elder Zazi has denied concealing facts and destroying evidence. He said he did not know about his son's terrorist plot.

"He was confused and in the dark," defense attorney Justine Harris said in opening statements on Monday.

But on the witness stand, Amanullah Zazi said "Uncle Wali" and other family members recruited him to get rid of chemicals Najibullah Zazi left behind in Colorado when he drove to New York City to bomb the subway. The would-be terrorist's cousin also claimed he was urged to lie to the grand jury.

With the Associated Press

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