Imam pleads guilty in New York subway bomb plot

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Image of the exterior of a New York City Subway station
Image: Paul Songco.

A Queens, New York Imam pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials on Thursday. 38-year-old Ahmad Afzali, an Afghan national, made his plea in Brooklyn Federal court.

Afzali faces up to six-months in prison. Under the plea deal Afzali must leave the United States within 90 days of leaving prison. "I failed to live up to my obligation to this country, my community, my family, and my religion. I am truly sorry," Afzali said in court.

The plea is related to the subway bomb plot surrounding Najibullah Zazi, who also pleaded guilty earlier last month to conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, and material support for al-Qaeda.

Federal officials allege Zazi spent more than a year plotting the attack with co-conspirators and that he received bomb-making instructions in Pakistan in 2008. The U.S. government also says he bought components to build improvised explosive devices and traveled to New York City on September 10, 2009, to move forward with his plans. Zazi's father was also arrested in September and charged with lying to federal officials. Zazi faces life in prison if convicted.