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Three Terrorism Suspects Jailed in Weekend Raid

Judy Woodruff speaks with journalists about the arrests of three terrorism suspects over the weekend related to an alleged plot to bomb American targets.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    And still to come on the NewsHour tonight: a health insurance mandate; and novelist Margaret Atwood. That follows the latest on the arrest of three terror suspects.

    Judy Woodruff has our story.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The three defendants made their first appearances in federal court today in Denver and New York City. The arrests on Saturday were the result of a year-long investigation of 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan national and airport bus driver who has reportedly admitted to getting explosives training from al-Qaida.

    Police raided his Denver-area home last week. He allegedly traveled to Pakistan twice this year and had notes and guides for bomb-making on his computer.

    RAYMOND KELLY, police commissioner, New York City: So when he was questioned about whether or not he knew anything about these written notes, and they were showed to him, he denied that knowledge.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Zazi was charged with lying to officials in an ongoing terror investigation. He has insisted he's done nothing wrong.

    Zazi's 53-year-old father, Mohammed Zazi, was also arrested in Denver.

  • RAYMOND KELLY:

    He's arrested because he lied about the phone call that he made to his son when he was in New York.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The third arrest came 1,800 miles away in New York City, where Zazi used to live. 37-year-old Ahmad Afzali is a prominent leader of this New York City mosque. He also worked as an informant for New York City police and stands accused of tipping Zazi off about the investigation and then lying about it to the FBI.

    Today, his defense attorney, Ron Kuby, said his client was not guilty of leaking information.

  • RON KUBY, attorney:

    The suspect in the terror investigation knew that he was under surveillance, and he said that in the tape-recorded conversation with the imam. It was the FBI itself, through its own conduct, that tipped off Najibullah Zazi that he was under investigation. They blew their own investigation, and now they're trying to blame my client.

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