Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cleric Plans to Plead Guilty in Zazi Matter

According to CNN, Ahmad Wais Afzali, a Muslim cleric and funeral director for the New York borough of Queens, will plead guilty today to making false statements to federal authorities regarding the investigation into Najibullah Zazi's plot to detonate bombs in the New York City subway system. For information regarding the Zazi plea agreement, see here, here, and here.

Ahmad Wais Afzali, Muslim cleric and funeral director from the New York borough of Queens, was among the first people charged in the alleged plot.

He is expected to plead guilty in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday afternoon, the source said. Afzali's defense attorney did not immediately respond to a call from CNN.

Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, declined to comment.

Afzali is charged in a four-count indictment. He's accused of lying about whether he tipped off Najibullah Zazi that the FBI had been asking questions. Zazi subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiring to detonate explosives in the United States.

Afzali faces a possible prison sentence of up to five years on each count and possible deportation.

Afzali's attorney, Ron Kuby, denied his client tipped off Zazi. He said Afzali knew he was being monitored and that he was trying to help investigators as they asked for information about Zazi.

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