The father of a terrorist convicted in a plot to bomb the New York City subway has himself been convicted for obstruction of justice in the case.
A New York federal jury handed down guilty verdicts against Mohammed Wali Zazi on two counts, conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice. The jury determined that Zazi lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is a crime. He also was found to have directed family members to destroy bomb-making chemicals used by his son.
The U.S. Attorney’s office issued a statement citing key law enforcement officials who pursued the case. Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI in New York, Janice Fedarcyk, is quoted as saying the defendant had been under no legal obligation to assist investigators in his son’s case. Lying, however, constitutes obstruction of justice.
During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Zazi destroyed or hid other evidence, such as glasses, masks, chemicals and containers.
The defendant’s son, Najibullah Zazi, admitted participating in an al-Qaida sanctioned plot to attack the New York City subway as a suicide bomber in 2009. The younger Zazi was trained at an al-Qaida camp in Pakistan the year before. He scuttled the attack after learning the FBI was investigating him. He pleaded guilty in a trial in February of last year.
A key government witness against the elder Zazi was his nephew, Amanullah Zazi, who testified in court that the defendant told him to “take care of the chemicals,” which meant destroying them.
Mohammed Zazi will be sentenced on December 2nd. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.