Casting a wide net in a neighborhood where high-profile raids prompted nationwide terror warnings, investigators searched for anyone who might have been behind the alleged terror plot beyond an airport shuttle driver and two others, authorities said.
The driver, Najibullah Zazi, his father and New York City imam Ahmad Wais Afzali all were scheduled to be in court for detention hearings later Thursday in Denver and New York. Authorities say they found bomb-making instructions on a hard drive on Zazi's laptop computer but still were unsure of the specific target or scope of a possible terrorist attack.
The 24-year-old Zazi – whom authorities have linked to al-Qaida – his father and Afzali have been charged with lying to FBI investigators trying to uncover the terror plot. Zazi met with his attorneys in Colorado on Wednesday. His father, Mohammed Zazi, was expected to be freed on $50,000 bail after Thursday's hearing.
The arrests came after the raids of several apartments in the Queens neighborhood, where Zazi had driven from Denver to visit earlier this month, and were followed by a flurry of nationwide warnings of possible strikes on transit, sports and entertainment complexes.
On Wednesday, hundreds of federal agents and NYPD investigators again fanned out in the neighborhood where apartments were searched – and backpacks and cell phones removed – over a week ago, to re-interview "people previously encountered" during previous raids there, and to locate others who know them, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the probe.
Terror suspect Najibullah Zazi has been indicted on a charge of conspiring to detonate bombs in the United States.
Zazi is to appear Thursday in court in Denver on a count of lying to terrorism investigators. The new charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction was filed in New York.
The two-page indictment offers few details, but a separate document – a government motion seeking to deny bail to the 24-year-old Afghan immigrant – lays out evidence gathered by investigators.
The document says that on Sept. 6 and 7, Zazi tried on multiple times to communicate with another individual "seeking to correct mixtures of ingredients to make explosives."
"Each communication," the papers say, was "more urgent than the last."
Three suspects charged in a wide-ranging terror probe are going to court in New York City and Denver.
Colorado air shuttle driver Najibullah Zazi (nah-jee-BOO'-lah ZAH'-zee) and his father have detention hearings later Thursday in Denver. A New York City imam, Ahmad Afzali (AKH'-mahd ahf-ZAH'-lee), has a hearing in New York City.
The three were charged last week with lying to FBI investigators trying to uncover a possible plot to detonate homemade bombs. Officials remain unsure of the scope or target of a possible terror attack.
They're casting a wide net to try and determine who might be connected to Zazi, who authorities have linked to al-Qaida. Hundreds of investigators are back at a Queens neighborhood that was the site of antiterror raids over a week ago.