Terror suspect allegedly bought bomb-making supplies at beauty store
Najibullah Zazi is hauled away by the FBI in Aurora, Colo., last Saturday. (Photo: AP/The Denver Post)
A terror suspect accused of plotting an attack in the U.S. bought bomb materials from beauty supply stores and urgently sought advice on homemade explosives days before he drove to New York from Colorado this month, according to court documents released Thursday.
Najibullah Zazi, 24, of Aurora, Colo., also researched home improvement stores in Flushing where he could buy a component in the same type of bombs used in the 2005 London subway attacks, federal authorities said.
Zazi was charged Thursday with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and is expected to be brought back to New York from Denver — where he was held on charges of lying to investigators — as early as Friday.
Law enforcement sources told The Associated Press that Zazi and others may have been planning to detonate bombs on trains in New York City.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the threat has been diffused but told the public to remain “vigilant.”Federal prosecutors in New York said in papers filed Thursday that Zazi, a former resident of Flushing, traveled last year to Pakistan, where he received training in manufacturing bombs. Counterterrorism officials found handwritten bomb-making instructions scanned onto a laptop Zazi had with him when he traveled to New York by car on Sept. 9.
Just days before that trip, Zazi tried to communicate with someone seeking the “correct mixtures of ingredients to make explosives,” according to documents filed by the feds seeking to deny Zazi bail. “Each communication [was] more urgent in tone than the last.”
Recently, Zazi and associates bought “unusually large quantities of hydrogen peroxide and acetone products” from beauty supply stores in Aurora, components that can be used to make explosives, court papers said.
Karan Hoss, president of the California-based Beauty Supply Warehouse, said the firm turned over store security video of a man matching Zazi’s description to the FBI. “We have pretty good angles of him coming in,” she said.
Just before he left for New York, Zazi checked into a Colorado hotel with associates; FBI agents later found residue in the room consistent with heating acetone, court documents said.
Zazi’s father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, and Queens Imam Ahmad Wais Afzali appeared in court Thursday on charges of lying to investigators in connection with the plot.
Mohammed Zazi was ordered in Denver to be freed under court supervision until an Oct. 9 hearing. Afzali was released in New York on $1.5 million bond.
All the men have denied involvement in any terror plots.