Cops probe threat against LIRR, NY subways
(AP) - A man under investigation in a terrorism probe inNew York and Colorado didn't report for a fourth day of FBIquestioning Saturday so he could spend a much-needed day with hisattorney, the attorney's spokeswoman said.
Najibullah Zazi had been scheduled to go to the Federal Buildingin Denver on Saturday. But Wendy Aiello, a spokeswoman for Zazi'sdefense team, told The Associated Press that Zazi and his attorneycontacted the FBI to cancel the meeting.
"They are meeting as client and attorney to review the case andthe entire situation," Aiello said. "Further meetings with theFBI are not being ruled out."
The FBI had no immediate comment.
Zazi, a 24-year-old airport shuttle driver, insists he is notinvolved in terrorism and has no links to al-Qaida. He is not underarrest.
He completed a third day of questioning Friday and was allowedto return to his suburban Denver apartment.
"The Denver FBI office has been very professional and courteousto Mr. Zazi and his family, and Mr. Zazi has cooperated fully withthe Denver FBI office," Aiello said.
Zazi's defense team denied reports that Zazi is considering aplea deal related to terror charges, and Zazi's attorney, ArthurFolsom, has dismissed as "rumor" remarks by a senior U.S.intelligence official in Washington that Zazi played a crucial rolein an intended terrorist attack.
The official told the AP on Friday that Zazi has indicated he isdirectly linked with al-Qaida. The official, who spoke on conditionof anonymity in order to discuss intelligence matters, said Zaziplayed a crucial role in an intended terrorist attack but that itwas not immediately clear what the targets were.
The official said the plot was being directed from outside theUnited States.
"Absolutely no way. It's a rumor," Folsom said Friday.
The FBI has searched Zazi's apartment and his uncle and aunt'shome in suburban Denver. Authorities have not said what they foundand have made no public statements on the investigation.
Another official familiar with the investigation told the AP onThursday that agents have been monitoring Zazi and four others inColorado as part of a terrorism investigation.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the FBI was"working this case around the clock" in New York, Denver andother parts of the country but that there was no imminent threat.
Authorities say Zazi rented a car and drove from Denver to NewYork, crossing into Manhattan on Sept. 10. Zazi said he went to NewYork to resolve some issues with a coffee cart he owns inManhattan.
On Monday, FBI agents and police officers with search warrantsseeking bomb materials searched three apartments and questionedresidents in the Queens neighborhood where Zazi stayed.
A joint FBI-New York Police Department task force feared Zazimay have been involved in a potential plot involving hydrogenperoxide-based explosives like those cited in an intelligencewarning issued Monday, according to two other law enforcementofficials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they werenot authorized to speak about the investigation.
Folsom has repeatedly denied any such claims.