The father of an would-be terrorist accused of planning to blow up city subway cars was facing 40-years in prison — but now he’s facing even more time.
Federal prosecutors allowed Mohammed Wali Zazi, 56, to plead guilty to visa fraud in Brooklyn Federal Court on Oct. 21 after it was learned that he lied on his visa application to get into the United States.
Investigators learned that when Zazi came into the U.S. in 2006, he claimed that his nephew was his biological son — so the young man could come to the U.S. with him.
But that act of kindness bit Zazi in the butt: prosecutors called Zazi’s nephew to testify against Zazi’s biological son, Nejibullah Zazi, when the younger Pakistani immigrant was arrested for formulating his terrorist plot.
Federal prosecutors claim Nejibullah wanted to plant bombs made out of beauty supply chemicals in a number of New York train stations in 2009, but gave up his plan after he learned that the FBI was closing in on him.
The FBI learned that Nejibullah had sent e-mails to a contact in Pakistan wanting to know about the key ingredients needed for constructing his bomb. When Nejibullah was visiting New York City from Colorado, the FBI conducted a search of his car and discovered handwritten bomb-making notes.
He ultimately pled guilty to his crime and was sentenced to prison.
The nephew also testified against the elder Zazi, who prosecutors claim knew what his son was doing and warned his relatives not to mention his terrorist plot to anyone.
Zazi even told family members to swap the words “chemicals” to “medicine” when they talked to each other, fearing that the FBI was tapping their phones.
Zazi had also told family members to destroy all of the chemicals that his son had collected in his bomb plot, prosecutors claim.
Prosecutors say that Zazi is facing an additional six month’s for the visa fraud charge — but the defendant didn’t seem to concerned about it.
“After sentencing, I will give the whole story from beginning to end,” Zazi told the New York Daily News after court, refusing to give any more comments.
Witness gets NYPD Blue at trial
Testimony against a former Brooklyn South Narcotics cop charged with stealing drugs taken during police raids and planting them on innocent men and women took a twisted turn last week when the cop on trial was accused of demanding oral sex from his strung-out confidential informants.
Taking the witness stand against embattled Police Officer Jason Arbeeny, Melanie Perez said that the cop had called her to his home, made her smoke drugs, then pulled down his pants and demanded to be pleasured.
“What was I going to do?” she said. “I did it.”
Arbeeny is one of eight undercover officers still to be tried in a ground-breaking shake up of the Brooklyn South Narcotics Unit in 2008. The team was put under the microscope when it was learned that Det. Sean Johnstone and Police Officer Julio Alvarez had “cooked the books” on drug seizures.
The duo executed a search warrant on an alleged drug dealer’s Coney Island home on Sept. 13, 2008, finding more than two dozen bags of cocaine. Later that day, Det. Johnstone was heard bragging that he and Alvarez had recovered 28 bags of cocaine, but only vouchered 17 of them. Johnstone wanted to use the rest of the cocaine to pay off informers, investigators alleged.
But his confession was completely accidental: he didn’t know that a wire he was wearing was still recording when he told another officer what he had done.
Prosecutors claim that Arbeeny showered his informants with drugs and participated in an ugly practice known as “flaking,” where drugs are planted on innocent victims to bolster arrest numbers.
Arbeeny’s trial continues this week, but Johnstone has already been tried and convicted earlier this year of one corruption charge — resulting in probation and losing his badge.
Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2525.