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|Extradited al Qaeda suspect pleads not guilty in US court|
|[Dawn] A Pak man accused of taking part in an international al Qaeda plot to attack targets in the United States and Europe to terrorism charges during his first US court appearance Monday in New York.|
Abid Naseer, 26, was extradited on Thursday from to Brooklyn, New York. He is facing up to life in prison on charges including providing material support to al Qaeda and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in connection with an alleged plot to bomb a city center in Manchester, England.
The charges against Naseer are also connected to an alleged al Qaeda plot in 2009 to bomb the subway system in New York City, US prosecutors said. Two men, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, have pleaded guilty to planning the attacks and a third man, Adis Medunjanin, was sentenced to life in prison after his conviction last year for taking part in the plot.
During a brief court appearance in Brooklyn federal court, Naseer, wearing a bright blue t-shirt and black sneakers, pleaded not guilty to the charges through his court-appointed lawyer. The judge ordered Naseer to be held in detention without bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 7.
Naseer is one of a dozen men, mostly students from Pakistain, who were in in 2009 on suspicion of plotting to bomb a city center in Manchester. British authorities conducted daylight raids on the suspects' homes after 's most senior counter-terrorism official was photographed openly carrying details about the operation.
British authorities said they found large quantities of flour and oil in the suspects' homes, as well as highlighted surveillance photographs of public areas in Manchester and a map of the city center.
Naseer and the other suspects were never charged, but British and US authorities said Naseer was part of a broader al Qaeda cell bent on staging attacks in the United States and Scandinavia.
Naseer was indicted in Brooklyn federal court in 2010, along with Medunjanin and other individuals alleged to be linked through a multi-national al Qaeda conspiracy.
US prosecutors said Naseer and Zazi coordinated their plans through emails to the same Pakistain-based al Qaeda , "Ahmad," using similar code words to discuss explosives and the timing of their respective plots.
Naseer was re-arrested by British authorities in 2010 after a US warrant was issued. He fought extradition, saying he feared he could be sent from the US to Pakistain and subjected there to torture. Naseer's appeal was rejected last month by the European Court of Human Rights, paving the way for him to stand trial in the United States.
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|NYC Subway bomb plotter sentenced to life + 95 years|
|A man who was convicted of plotting with two friends to carry out a coordinated on New York City subways was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.|
Federal authorities deemed the plan one of the most dangerous terrorist plots against the city.
The man, Adis Medunjanin, 28, who was born in Bosnia and grew up in Queens, was considered the heart and soul of the plot -- though not its -- the one whose increasingly radical beliefs in Islam inspired him and two high school friends to participate in jihad They went to Pakistain with the hope of joining the Taliban in the fight against American troops and wound up at a training camp run by Al Qaeda.
Although his two friends, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, pleaded guilty to participating in the plot, Mr. Medunjanin maintained his innocence and went to trial. He was convicted of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and conspiring to commit murder abroad, as well as of providing material support to Al Qaeda and receiving military training from Al Qaeda, among other charges..
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|New York Bomb Plotter Convicted on Terror Charges|
|[An Nahar] An American who U.S. officials said was an al-Qaeda operative was convicted Tuesday on terrorism charges for plotting with two accomplices to launch suicide s in the New York subway system.|
Adis Medunjanin, a resident of Queens, New York, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison after being convicted of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and providing material support to al-Qaeda, among other charges.
Judge John Gleeson was scheduled to sentence the 28-year-old Medunjanin on September 7.
Medunjanin "came within days of executing a plot to conduct coordinated s in the New York City subway system in September 2009, as directed by senior al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistain," the Justice Department said.
"Justice was served today ... as a jury of New Yorkers convicted an al-Qaeda operative bent on terrorism, mass murder and destruction in the New York City subways," said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch.
"Adis Medunjanin's journey of radicalization led him from Flushing, Queens, to , Pakistain, to the brink of a terrorist attack in New York City -- and soon to a lifetime in federal prison.
"As this case has proved, working against sophisticated terrorist organizations and against the clock, our law enforcement and intelligence agencies can detect, disrupt and destroy terrorist cells before they strike, saving countless innocent lives," she stressed.
The Bosnia-born Medunjanin, whose family to the United States during the war with Serbia in the 1990s, was also convicted of conspiring to commit murder of U.S. military personnel abroad; taking military training from al-Qaeda; conspiring and attempting to commit terror across national boundaries, and using arms in relation to these offenses, the statement said.
The other two men in the alleged plot, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, have already pleaded guilty and testified against their old friend in hopes that cooperation with prosecutors would earn them lighter sentences.
The three friends were in many ways typical New Yorkers, striving to live the immigrant dream.
Medunjanin was a doorman, Ahmedzay drove a yellow cab, and Zazi was a coffee cart vendor before moving to Colorado, where he drove an airport shuttle bus in Denver.
When the subway bomb plot was foiled, Medunjanin crashed his car into another on the Whitestone Expressway, attempting to "turn his car into a weapon of terror," the Justice Department said.
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|British shoe-bomb suspect testifies at NYC trial|
|[Dawn] In a videotaped deposition made public for the first time Thursday, a British man convicted in an aborted shoe-bombing mission admitted meeting with after deciding to fight jihad against the West.|
US prosecutors and defense attorneys interviewed Saajid Badat just outside London late last month in preparation for the New York trial of Adis Medunjanin, accused in the 2009 plot to attack New York's subways with suicide bombs.
Badat said that he refused a request to testify in person because he remains under indictment in Boston on charges alleging he conspired with shoe-bomber Richard Reid.
"If I go to the United States, I'll be ," Badat said on the tape played for a jury on Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn.
British authorities had revealed earlier this week that Badat would have a role in the Medunjanin prosecution, calling him the first person convicted in the United Kingdom on terrorism charges to agree to give evidence at the trial of alleged terrorists.
Badat, 33, pleaded guilty in to plotting with Reid to bring down separate American trans-Atlantic flights using bombs hidden in their shoes.
Unlike Reid, he backed out at the last minute.
"I agreed to take an explosive on an aircraft and explode it," he said in the video, looking clean-cut and wearing a suit.
He also testified that he had "direct interaction" with bin Laden "more than once" after traveling to Afghanistan in 1999.
At the time, he knew the terror network as "The Sheik's Group," with "sheik" referring to bin Laden.
Medunjanin is accused of traveling to Pakistain with two friends from his Queens high school in 2008 and receiving terror training from al-Qaeda
Prosecutors allege the men, including acknowledged Najibullah Zazi, agreed to seek martyrdom by dying as s in an attack on Manhattan subway lines at rush hour.
Medunjanin, 27, a Bosnian-born naturalized US citizen, has to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, providing material support to a terrorist organization and other charges.
He has denied he was ever part of an al-Qaeda operation.
Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay pleaded guilty to the plot in 2010 and were without bail after agreeing to become government witnesses in a bid for leniency.
Both testified against Medunjanin earlier this week.
Badat had no involvement with the men.
Prosecutors instead want to use his testimony to corroborate what Zazi and Ahmedzay have said about al-Qaeda's leadership and training methods.
The British-born son of Malawi immigrants, Badat was 21 when he traveled to both Afghanistan and Pakistain.
While in Afghanistan, he was given an designed to evade airport security and destroy an aircraft in flight, authorities said.
Badat returned to with the device on Dec 10, 2001.
He ended up stashing the bomb under a bed in his family home in Gloucester, England, and resumed his academic studies.
He later told authorities he backed out because he was hoping "to introduce calm into his life."
British intelligence tracked down Badat two years later and after matched cords on Reid's device to those on Badat's bomb.
Badat was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
But British authorities announced this week that in 2009 a judge secretly reduced his sentence to 11 years to reward him for his cooperation in terror investigations.
The Brooklyn jury only heard about the first 10 minutes of the videotape, which lasts more than two hours.
The rest will be played when the trial resumes on Monday.
Reid attempted to bring down a plane in December 2001 and is serving a life sentence in a high-security US prison.
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|NYC Trial Details Terror Planning|
|Defendant Who Pleaded Guilty Describes al Qaeda Training, Subway Bomb Plot|
The characterization came during opening statements in a trial in Brooklyn federal court which one of the men, Adis Medunjanin, is accused of receiving training by the terrorist organization while in Pakistain and returning to the U.S. with orders to launch a devastating attack.
|'Shoe bomber' has sentence cut after agreeing to give evidence against 'terrorists'|
|Saajid Muhammad Badat, |
Badat, who was jailed in 2005, saw his prison sentence reduced to 11 years in 2009 as part of a deal with prosecutors, it can be reported today.
It is the first time in the UK that a convicted terrorist has entered into an agreement with the Crown Prosecution Service to give evidence in a trial against other alleged terrorists.
Sue Hemming, head of the CPS special crime and counter terrorism division, said the agreement had not been entered into lightly. It will see Badat give evidence in the US trial of Adis Medunjanin over an alleged al Qaida martyrdom plot from 2008 to 2010, which opens in New York today.
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|Subway Terror Plot Had Global Reach|
|Federal prosecutors charged a senior al Qaeda leader Wednesday with helping to mastermind last year's attempted bombing of New York City's subway and said the effort was part of a larger plot that included a failed terrorist attempt in the U.K.|
Three suspected al Qaeda members were arrested in Europe Thursday morning in what Norwegian and U.S. officials said was a bombing plot linked to the New York and U.K. plans.
In an indictment unveiled in federal court in Brooklyn Wednesday, prosecutors said 34-year-old Adnan el Shukrijumah, described as a leader of an al Qaeda program dedicated to terrorist attacks in the U.S. and other Western countries, "recruited and directed" three U.S. citizens to carry out suicide bombings in Manhattan in September 2009.
The indictment also charged Abid Naseer and Tariq ur Rehman, who were previously arrested by authorities in the U.K. as part of a raid in relation to suspected terrorist activity there. Prosecutors said the two cases were "directly related." The charges underscored "the global nature of the terrorist threat we face," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.
On Wednesday, U.K. police again arrested Mr. Naseer, who is 24 years old and of Pakistani descent, in Middlesbrough, in the northeast of England, according to a police spokesman. Mr. Rehman isn't in custody and is believed to be in Pakistan. The last known lawyer for Mr. Naseer didn't respond to requests for comment. Mr. Rehman, 39, reached in Peshawar, North East Pakistan, said: "Of course I deny all these charges. Of course I will fight my case."
A day later, three men were arrested on suspicion of "preparing terror activities," the Norwegian Police Security Service said. Two of the men were arrested in Norway and one in Germany, said Janne Kristiansen, the head of Police Security Service. She said one of the men was a 39-year-old Norwegian of Uighur origin, who had lived in Norway since 1999. The other suspects were a 37-year-old Iraqi and a 31-year-old citizen of Uzbekistan, both of whom have permanent residency permits in Norway. The three had been under surveillance for more than a year.
Officials told the Associated Press that the men were attempting to make portable but powerful peroxide bombs, but it wasn't clear whether they had selected a target for the attacks. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they believe the plan was organized by Salah al-Somali, al Qaeda's former chief of external operations who was charge of plotting attacks world-wide but is believed to have been killed in a CIA drone airstrike last year.
U.S. prosecutors, meanwhile, said the New York and U.K. plots were directly linked by a man identified in court documents as "Ahmad," who was also charged on Wednesday, though he wasn't in custody and prosecutors said his identity was unknown. Prosecutors said Ahmad transported Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan native who worked as an airport shuttle driver in Colorado, and two others to Waziristan, Pakistan, so they could receive training. Mr. Shukrijumah recruited them at a camp there, prosecutors said.
The indictment, unveiled on the fifth anniversary of bombings in London's transport network, said that Mr. Shukrijumah, together with others, including Mr. al-Somali recruited individuals to conduct a terrorist attack in the U.S.
Authorities in the U.S. have been searching for Mr. Shukrijumah, a Saudi Arabia native, for several years and are offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. They are planning to put him on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's most-wanted list as early as Thursday.
Prosecutors described Ahmad as an "al Qaeda facilitator" and said he communicated separately with Mr. Naseer and Mr. Zazi, who were in Pakistan in the same period in 2008, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors said Mr. Naseer sent emails to the same account that Ahmad allegedly used to communicate with Mr. Zazi. Mr. Naseer referred to different explosives in coded language and spoke of planning a large "wedding" for numerous guests in April 2009, and said Ahmad should be ready, prosecutors alleged. A similar code, meaning an attack was ready to be executed, was used by Mr. Zazi when he discussed the planned New York attack with Ahmad, prosecutors said.
When Mr. Naseer and Mr. Rehman were arrested in the U.K. last year as part of a bigger raid that also led to the arrests of 10 others, U.K. authorities found large quantities of flour and oil, as well as surveillance photographs of public areas in Manchester, according to U.S. authorities.
But "Operation Pathway," which led to the arrests, was carried out prematurely after the U.K.'s top counterterrorism official at the time, Bob Quick, was photographed entering No. 10 Downing Street carrying documents that clearly identified key aspects of the operation. All of the men who were arrested were released without charge due to what U.K. prosecutors believed had been insufficient evidence.
British authorities tried to deport 11 of the men arrested, saying they posed a threat to national security. Mr. Naseer won an appeal in May in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission that stopped his deportation back to Pakistan. The U.S. government is seeking to extradite Mr. Naseer, according to London's Metropolitan police service.
In February, Mr. Zazi pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and other charges. He admitted that he drove to New York last September with explosives and other bomb-making materials and intended to carry out an attack on Manhattan subway lines.
Two other men, Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin, allegedly traveled to Pakistan with Mr. Zazi. In April, Mr, Ahmedzay pleaded guilty to conspiracy and providing material support to al Qaeda.
Mr. Medunjanin, a part-time building superintendent in Queens, N.Y., has denied wrongdoing and is fighting the charges. Wednesday's indictment adds additional terrorism charges against Mr. Medunjanin, who was arrested in January after allegedly attempting to crash his car into another car on the Whitestone Expressway in Queens as a last attempt to carry out a suicide attack on American soil.
"There's nothing new in the indictment as it pertains to Mr. Medunjanin," said his lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb. "The government from Day One threatened to add charges as well as defendants." He said his client isn't guilty and intends to proceed to trial.
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|Imam entangled in terrorism case leaves US|
|[Dawn] The imam entangled in the investigation into a suicide bomb plot against New York City subway stations left the US Monday, after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI. Among his final words on US soil, his lawyer says, were "God bless America."|
Ahmad Wais Afzali and his wife Fatima took off on a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight to Jeddah and then will go on to Mecca, where Fatima got a job teaching English, said the lawyer, Ron Kuby. Afzali, who was born in Afghanistan but spent most of his life in Queens, isn't sure what he's going to do there, Kuby said.
Afzali, under the terms of his plea April 15, was sentenced to time served - four days - but ordered to leave the country in 90 days.
Authorities sought help last fall from the imam, a previously reliable police source, as they scrambled to thwart the plot by Najibullah Zazi, an airport van driver who pleaded guilty in the case.
The 38-year-old imam said he had wanted to help authorities in the investigation of the threat but lied under grilling by the FBI about his phone conversations Zazi.
Afzali lied when he said he never told Zazi that he was under surveillance in New York.
Afzali said that he never meant to aide Zazi or deceive the government.
"It was not just something he said at sentencing, he genuinely loves this country very much," Kuby said. "Unfortunately he was caught in a turf battle between the NYPD and the FBI."
Afzali cannot return to the US without special permission. If he does, he is subject to additional charges and could be deported to Afghanistan.
Najibullah Zazi and two friends were arrested in September 2009 before, prosecutors said, they could carry out a trio of suicide bombings in Manhattan. Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay have pleaded guilty and admitted planning to detonate homemade bombs on the subway during rush hour. A third man, Adis Medunjanin, awaits trial.
Zazi is cooperating with investigators, key developments that prosecutors hope will help them trace the plot back to its roots in Pakistan, where Zazi and former friends from high school allegedly traveled in 2008 to seek terror training.
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|US officials link Shukrijumah to New York plot|
|Current and former counter-terrorism officials of the United States have linked Adnan Shukrijumah, one of the most wanted persons, to thwarted plot to bomb the subway system in New York City last year, authorities said.|
The officials said Shukrijumah, top al Qaeda operative, met with one of the would-be suicide bombers in a plot that Attorney General Eric Holder called one of the most dangerous since the 9/11 attacks. In Brooklyn, federal prosecutors have named Shukrijumah in a draft terrorism indictment but the Justice Department was still discussing whether to cite his role.
Some officials feared that the extra attention might hinder efforts to capture him. The involvement of Shukrijumah shows how important the (subway bombing) plot was to al Qaeda's senior leadership. Intelligence officials believe Shukrijumah is one of the top candidates to become al Qaeda's next head of external operations, the man in charge of planning attacks worldwide.
The counter-terrorism officials discussed the case on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak about it. Shukrijumah, 34, has eluded the FBI for years. The Saudi-born operative studied at a community college in Florida, but when the FBI showed up to arrest him as a witness to a terrorism case in 2003, he already had left the country. The US is offering $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
Intelligence officials started unraveling the subway plot last year, when US intelligence intercepted an electronic mail from an account that al Qaeda had used in a recent terrorist plot, officials said. The mail discussed bomb-making techniques and was sent to an address in Denver, setting off alarms within the CIA and the FBI from Islamabad to the US.
Najibullah Zazi and two friends were arrested in September 2009 before, prosecutors said, they could carry out a trio of suicide bombings in Manhattan. Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay have pleaded guilty and admitted planning to detonate homemade bombs on the subway during rush hour. A third man, Adis Medunjanin, awaits trial. A fourth suspect, known as Ahmed, traded the emails with Zazi, who was frantically trying to perfect his bomb-making recipe, the officials said.
The US wants to bring the Pakistani man to the US for trial on charges that are not yet public. The CIA learned valuable information about al Qaeda and its operations from Ahmed. The officials in Pakistan have also arrested a fifth person, known as Afridi, who worked with Ahmed, the officials said. The FBI and the US attorney's office in Brooklyn had no comment.
The US officials told The Associated Press about how the men hooked up with al Qaeda. The new account provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting process. The trio's lengthy odyssey took them from their homes in Queens to the mountainous tribal areas in northwest Pakistan. The prosecutors said the men, motivated by their anger at the war in Afghanistan, travelled to Peshawar in the summer of 2008 to fight against the US forces.
Before splitting up, the men stayed at the house of Zazi's uncle. Zazi remained in Peshawar while Ahmedzay and Medunjanin headed into Afghanistan where they hoped to join the fight against the Americans, they said. But Ahmedzay and Medunjanin never made it. They were stopped at a roadblock and briefly detained by the police who were suspicious of their Western looks and their US passports.
The two men talked their way out of the bind, however, and the police never contacted the US about it, the officials said. Undeterred, the men regrouped in Peshawar and were recruited to meet an al Qaeda facilitator at local mosque in Peshawar. While al Qaeda was eager to recruit Americans, the group was also deeply suspicious of the trio and wanted to make sure they were not US spies.
Once they passed that initial test, Ahmed drove them to North Waziristan and delivered them to a rudimentary terrorist camp. The three received weapons training, but al Qaeda had bigger plans for the men than the Afghanistan front line. Salah al-Somali, then the head of external operations, and Rashid Rauf, a British national linked to a 2006 jetliner bomb plot, explained to the three men that they were more useful as bombers in the US.
It was at that camp that the US officials believe Ahmedzay, and perhaps the other two men, met Shukrijumah. In 2004, then attorney general John Ashcroft called Shukrijumah a clear and present danger to the US. Abu Zubaydah told US authorities that Shukrijumah was among the most likely candidates to attack the US or Europe. The trio completed about two weeks of training and left the camp with the promise of returning. But only Zazi made the trip back to Waziristan to take a course on explosives.
In early 2009, Zazi flew to New York and moved to Denver, armed with bomb-making notes. Unlike the Sept 11, 2001, attacks they chose the target, not Osama bin Laden. The emails that tipped off US intelligence triggered "Operation High Rise," an FBI investigation that had to come together within days. Agents scrambled as Zazi sped toward New York on September 9, armed with about two pounds of the powerful explosive.
He was stopped on the George Washington Bridge, but authorities failed to find the explosive material (TATP) stashed in a bag in the trunk. Spooked after the traffic stop, Zazi gave the TATP to Ahmedzay, who flushed it down the toilet. That week, the FBI raided the homes of all three friends, bringing a swift end to the plot.
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|Guilty plea over NYC subway plot|
|A New York man has pleaded guilty to terror charges in connection with a plot to set off suicide bombs in the city's subway system. Zarein Ahmedzay admitted conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and providing support to al-Qaeda, in a plea entered in a court in New York. |
US officials have called it one of the most serious threats since 9/11.
Ahmedzay, 25, originally entered a not guilty plea after his arrest in January. He was picked up with another classmate, Adis Medunjanin, who is facing similar charges.
Prosecutors say the three were planning an attack on city subway lines last September under the direction of al-Qaeda that would have been similar to the 2005 attacks on public transit in London, which killed more than 50 people.
Prosecutors have said Ahmedzay, Zazi and Mr Medunjanin all travelled to Pakistan in 2008 to look for terrorism training.
At the Brooklyn hearing, Assistant US Attorney Geoffrey Knox said the plotters had met two senior al-Qaeda operatives who ordered them to carry out the suicide bombings. Mr Knox identified the leaders as Saleh al-Somali and Rashid Rauf, both of whom were killed in Pakistan over the past year.
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|More details of Zazi plot, fourth man picked up in Pakistan|
|Chilling new details about the foiled Al Qaeda plot to blow up the city's busiest subways have emerged as a fourth suspect was quietly arrested in Pakistan, the Daily News has learned.|
The unidentified man, who helped plan the plot, is expected to be extradited to the U.S. to betried in Brooklyn Federal Court with Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay of Flushing, Queens, sources said.
Najibullah Zazi and his two Queens friends allegedly planned to strap explosives to their bodies and split up, heading for the Grand Central and Times Square stations - the two busiest subway stations in New York City.
They would board trains on the 1, 2, 3 and 6 lines at rush hour and planned to position themselves in the middle of the packed trains to ensure the maximum carnage when they blew themselves up, sources said.
During Zazi's brief visit to Queens from his home in Denver last September, he rode the subway multiple times to the Grand Central and Wall St. stations, scouting where to best spread death and mayhem, the sources said.
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|Imam Snared in Terror Plot Admits He Lied to the FBI|
|Follow-up with some details.|
A Queens imam who became entangled in a terrorism plot against New York City when he warned one of the planners that he was under government surveillance pleaded guilty on Thursday to a reduced charge of lying to federal officials.
Fighting through tears, the imam, Ahmad Wais Afzali, spoke of failing his adopted country, a country his conviction will soon require him to leave, maintaining that he had no idea of the seriousness of the case when he told Najibullah Zazi in phone conversations that law enforcement officials were investigating him.
Mr. Afzali, who had been approached by the New York Police Department to provide information on Mr. Zazi, said he was afraid when Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interrogated him two days later -- so he lied about the conversation with Mr. Zazi, even though he knew it had been recorded.
"My intention was not to protect Zazi but to protect myself," he said during a hearing on Thursday in United States District Court in Brooklyn. "In doing so, I failed to live up to my obligation to this country, my community, my family and my religion. I am truly sorry."
You're sorry. Great. Thanks. Now scram.
Under the agreement reached with prosecutors, Mr. Afzali pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the F.B.I., but the reduced charge did not specify that the lie occurred in the course of a terrorism investigation. As a result, Mr. Afzali faces up to six months in prison rather than up to eight years when he is sentenced in April. The government has agreed not to request any time in jail, said Ronald L. Kuby, a lawyer for Mr. Afzali.
After sentencing, Mr. Afzali will have up to 90 days to leave the country voluntarily, or he will be deported.
Outside the courtroom, Mr. Afzali appeared distraught about leaving the country he has called home since he left Afghanistan as a young boy. His wife and two children from a previous marriage all hold United States citizenship. He said he did not know where he would go.
"My whole tribe is here," Mr. Afzali said. To return to Afghanistan, he offered, would be to "sign my death sentence."
Not our problem. Next time don't lie to the FBI.
After pleading guilty, he read aloud from a prepared statement, in which he described his past work as a liaison between the New York Police Department and the local Muslim community. "I have always assisted the police, whenever they have asked," he said. "I did so because I love this country and I love my community."
That involvement took a turn when the police asked him for information about Mr. Zazi and Mr. Medunjanin, who used to attend his mosque in Queens.
"The police interest in these men led me to believe that they were involved in some criminal activity, but I had no idea of its seriousness," he said. "I had known them when they were boys and did not think they were capable of serious crime. I thought perhaps they had fallen in with the wrong people or gotten caught up in something."
Two days later, Mr. Afzali was interrogated by F.B.I agents about the conversation. He denied telling Mr. Zazi that law enforcement officials were interested in him. "I lied and said I did not," Mr. Afzali recounted, breaking into sobs. "My intention was not to protect Zazi but to protect myself."