Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NY Terror Suspect Enters Not Guilty Plea

Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
September 29, 2009

TRACE GALLAGHER: Najibullah Zazi pleading not guilty today as we get chilling new information about what authorities could have been the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11. The Afghan immigrant has been ordered without bail as the government continues to gather evidence in a complex investigation. Prosecutors say Zazi got explosives training from Al Qaeda in Pakistan and may have planned to use homemade bombs against mass transit targets here in New York City. Investigators have identified three people allegedly helping Zazi, but they haven't found them yet, and they have not found the bomb-making materials. Steve Emerson is the Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He is also the author of Jihad Incorporated. And I guess what concerns me the most, we'll get to Zazi in a minute, are the three suspects still on the run. They've identified them Steve, but they haven't found them and they have not found the bomb-making material. Are you concerned?

STEVEN EMERSON: I think everybody is concerned. Especially law enforcement and the American public should be very concerned. It's very disconcerting to know that three people who are likely trained in bomb-making and a very sophisticated bomb-making. The type of which was used in the London subway attacks in July '05 are now on the lamb; could be anyplace in the United States. Of course they could be out of the United States as well, but the fact that they haven't been found is very disconcerting.

GALLAGHER: We talk about the different connections and the kind of tree element here, Steve, but if there are three and we know that because they believe that these three helped Zazi buy these bomb-making materials. The hydrogen peroxide and the acetone. Could there be more and from what you know, about terrorism rings if you will, do you believe there are more out there?

EMERSON: Certainly there are more out there. Now the question is whether they are connected to Zazi's terrorist ring or not. But I can tell you definitively that there are more bomb-makers out there in the United States, there are more jihadists, and there are more plots underway which we have still not yet found-announced yet-that is the government has not yet announced yet because they are still under investigation. As far as these three men are concerned, clearly they should be considered very dangerous, they might be armed and they certainly have the capability it looks like to detonate other bombs that could be used in other types of attacks if they are not used in New York as was disrupted by the FBI and the NYPD.

GALLAGHER: And Steve, I just want to make sure, 'cause you guys have uncovered some information about one of the other suspects in this case. The Imam, Afzali; what are you finding out about him and what is he preaching?

EMERSON: The interesting thing about Mr. Afzali; he was an Imam that was shown pictures of Zazi in order to identify Zazi and then immediately the Imam called up Zazi to notify him that the FBI was looking for him so he betrayed his confidence to the intelligence sources to whom he was speaking. We found a sermon that he delivered in August of 2009 which betrayed his true Salafist or ultra-puritanical beliefs. He talks about Jews and Christians and Shiites in very derogatory terms and Jews and Christians-


GALLAGHER: Hold on Steve; I'm going to put them up on the screen. This is one of the things he said here. He says quote Rabbis destroyed Judaism. The Christian monks destroyed Christianity. And you believe it is this type of hatred being preached that ferments these types of terrorism.

EMERSON: Certainly. He believes that the reformations that were undergone under Christianity and Judaism ruined those religions and he wants to return back to the puritanical form of Islam. The type of which is mandated under the Sharia. He is somebody that is exceptionally dangerous in his beliefs and of course he was a co-conspirator to the extent that he knew about Zazi's active involvement in trying to detonate these bombs in New York City transit system.

GALLAGHER: Steve Emerson. Steve, good to have you sir. Thank you.

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