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Terror suspect's dad indicted on conspiracy charges

Najibullah Zazi arrives at FBI offices in Denver

Najibullah Zazi arrives at FBI offices in Denver for questioning. (Sept. 17, 2009) Credit: AP

The father of Najibullah Zazi, the Denver airport shuttle bus driver accused last fall of plotting an attack on New York's subways, has been indicted on a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice by trying to destroy evidence of his son's bomb plot, officials said.

In a federal court indictment unsealed in Brooklyn Monday, prosecutors alleged that Mohammed Wali Zazi conspired in September "to corruptly alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal" various objects, including "glasses, masks, liquid chemicals and containers" with the intent to obstruct a grand jury.

Mohammed Zazi, 53, was arrested last fall in Colorado, charged with lying to federal agents, and released on bail. Authorities have now arrested him again in Colorado, moving to dismiss the old charge and extradite him to New York to face the more serious obstruction charge, which carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

His lawyer in Colorado did not return a call for comment.

Najibullah Zazi, who grew up in Queens, has been charged with buying up hydrogen peroxide and nail polish remover from beauty salons in Colorado with plans to use the liquids in bomb making and driving to New York to set off bombs in the city subway system.

He had previously traveled to Pakistan with two high school buddies from Flushing and received military training in an al-Qaida training camp, officials say.

One of the men, Adis Medunjanin, has been accused of conspiracy to murder U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The other, Zarein Ahmedzay, has been charged with lying. In other pieces of the case, a Queens imam caught up in the probe has been charged with lying, and an uncle of Zazi is reportedly the subject of a sealed indictment in Brooklyn.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder has described the Zazi case as the most serious domestic terror plot since Sept. 11, 2001.

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