Najibullah Zazi's classmate and alleged co-conspirator goes on trial today
Terrorism hit close to home in September 2009, when Aurora resident Najibullah Zazi, an airport shuttle driver, was indicted for being part of a conspiracy to bomb the subways of New York -- with homemade bombs concocted from ingredients he'd purchased at local beauty supply stores. In February 2010, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.
Zazi's father, Mohammed Zazi, an Afghan native who moved to Aurora and became a United States citizen in October 2007, ultimately went to trial on charges of conspiracy. In February, he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison, for lying to protect his son.
Now the younger Zazi, who faces a life sentence, could be back in court in New York this week, testifying at the trial of Adis Medunjanin, with whom he traveled to Pakistan in 2008, reportedly to join the Taliban and fight the U.S. in retaliation for the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. According to the FBI, a trio of high school classmates were instead recruited by al-Qaida operatives, who gave them training and turned them into would-be suicide bombers.
While both Zazi and fellow classmate Zarein Ahmedzay have confessed, Medunjanin pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction; his trial starts today. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the planned attack "one of the most serious terrorist threats to our nation since September 11, 2001."
Najibullah Zazi isn't the only terrorism story tied to this state. Read more in our post "9/11 anniversary: Top 10 terrorists with Colorado connections."