NYC terrorism suspect Zazi pleads not guilty
Terrorism suspect Najibulla Zazi was ordered held without bail Tuesday after pleading not guilty to charges that he planned to set off bombs in New York City.
Zazi, 24, wearing a blue jail smock, entered his plea through his attorney, Michael Dowling. A food vendor and airport limousine driver, Zazi once lived in Flushing. He said nothing during the seven-minute arraignment before Chief Judge Raymond Dearie in federal court in Brooklyn.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Knox said evidence against Zazi will include surveillance information from foreign intelligence sources and ample classified information. Zazi was helped by at least three accomplices whose whereabouts and level of involvement haven't been revealed, authorities say.
Knox said the conspiracy to detonate bombs in New York was "international in scope."
Tuesday was Zazi's first court appearance on charges he plotted to bring death and destruction to the city where he once lived. Zazi was flown to New York on Friday from Denver, where he was living with his family.
"You get the impression he's a nice guy, don't you?" defense attorney Michael Dowling told reporters afterward, The Associated Press reported.
Regarding notes about bomb-making material prosecutors say were found on Zazi's laptop, "You can't convict of the charges based on the evidence in this case," Dowling said.
Dowling admitted that his client visited Pakistan last year and made purchases earlier this year at a beauty supply shop in Aurora, Colo.
But, he added, "Those acts are not illegal" and cautioned against a "rush to judgment."
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly refused Tuesday to discuss the potential of other plotters at large, but insisted there was no threat to the city.
The plot "has been broken up," Kelly said. "I see no danger emanating . . . from the people involved in this investigation."