Najibullah Zazi Pleads Guilty and Cooperates

Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty today to three counts: conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against persons and property in the U.S., conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support to a terrorist organization (Al Qaeda.) CBS has the transcript of today's hearing. Zazi said he went to Afghanistan in 2008 to join the Taliban to fight the U.S. military. While in Pakistan, he was recruited by al Qaeda to launch an attack in the U.S.

In entering his plea, the immigrant, Najibullah Zazi, admitted that he came to New York last year near the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to kill himself and others on the subway using a homemade bomb — what he said was a “martyrdom operation” that he was just days away from executing until he realized he was under government surveillance.
The plea agreement is sealed. The DOJ press release describing the plot is here. Two of the counts to which he plead carry a maximum life sentence.
Zazi admitted that he brought TATP [Triacetone Triperoxide] explosives to New York on Sept. 10, 2009, as part of plan to attack the New York subway system.

....Zazi and others intended to obtain and assemble the remaining components of the bombs over the weekend and conduct the attack on Manhattan subway lines on Sept. 14, Sept. 15, or Sept. 16, 2009. However, shortly after arriving in New York, Zazi realized that law enforcement was investigating his activities. Zazi and others discarded the explosives and other bomb-making materials, and Zazi traveled back to Denver.
In a written statement he read after his plea, Zazi, he described the plot. He took offense at the term "suicide bomber." From the Times article:
“I would sacrifice myself to bring attention to what the United States military was doing to civilians in Afghanistan,” he said.

Original Post: Zazi to Plead Guilty

Najibullah Zazi, the Denver man accused of terror-related offenses in the Eastern District of New York, has begun cooperating and will plead guilty at 2:30 pm today to an as-yet unspecified charge.

So he had lawyers from day 1, waived his Miranda rights, wasn't tortured, and is now cooperating and pleading guilty. He's going to get a reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation. The U.S. gets the benefit of his knowledge. He gets punished and incarcerated.

All of this in a federal criminal court with him being provided his full panoply of constitutional rights.

This is the same scenario tha will play out with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The same can and should be done with the 9/11 defendants. It's too late to undo the torture they underwent, but DOJ says it has a winnable case without the compromised statements. There's no need for military tribunals with reduced rights for the accused. Our federal courts work just fine.

< Onion Ready: WaPo Urges U.S. Stay In Iraq To Keep Chalabi Out | Holder: Zazi Another Example of Successes of Civilian Terror Trials >
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  • Display: Sort:
    And no need for black sites... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 10:46:13 AM EST
    ...still torturing people.  No need for covering up murders of people in custody.  And the list goes on.  Will Obama actually lead on this?  I doubt it.  He's too afraid of the military, too afraid of being perceived as weak, too afraid of everything that might make him too unpopular with too many people who'd never agree with him about anything in the first place.  

    you have such (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 10:55:34 AM EST
    a pre 9/11 mindset Jeralyn

    The Constitution was the same (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MKS on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 12:20:23 PM EST
    both before and after 9/11.....If we jettison our principles, then the terrorists have already won....

    it was (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 01:01:21 PM EST
    a compliment

    the cases are different (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 11:31:28 AM EST
    Maybe you can dilly-dally when you charge someone with plotting.  The last plane attack involved three planes on 9/11, however; getting information from someone who actually has a bomb (as in Detroit) must be done quickly, not months later as part of a plea deal.

    We got information (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by MKS on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 12:21:30 PM EST
    quickly from Captain Underpants and KSM....without torture....

    Jettisoning our principals (none / 0) (#6)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 12:50:23 PM EST
    during "a time of war" has been a big problem practically since 1776.

    Fighting monsters abroad and losing the nation's soul at home..with Alien and Sedition Acts..Espionage Acts..

    Giving the making of policy over to the "securing the realm" philosopher kings and expecting to be able to preserve democracy is as tall an order as allowing the globalization crowd to commandeer our domestic economic policies and expecting the same.


    Nope. Not true. (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 02:41:53 PM EST
    I just looked and our souls are safe and secure.

    Of course those 3000 or so souls who were in the WTC on 9/11/01 are looking for bodies.....


    Well, not exactly (none / 0) (#9)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 02:48:33 PM EST
    last I heard you and yours were soiling yourselves over evil-doers who "just hate us" cuz we're not their religion..even though we havnt been their religion for 200+ years..

    please don't start a (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 05:05:21 PM EST
    fight between the two of you with personal attacks. They will be deleted.

    No attack, no problem? (none / 0) (#11)
    by lawstudent on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:24:55 PM EST
    So I guess that along with Zazi's guilty plea goes your previous post that suggested Obama was trumping up the details of Zazi's plot in an effort to garner support for renewal of certain Patriot Act provisions?  

    Perhaps government officials were speaking out of turn at the time, based on what appeared to be less than substantial evidence of an actual plot, or perhaps they knew more than they led us to believe?  Maybe we should give the DOJ under Obama a little more of a benefit of the doubt?