Image: Najibullah Zazi
Ed Andrieski  /  AP
Najibullah Zazi leaves his apartment in Aurora, Colo., for a meeting with his attorney on Thursday. Zazi, identified by law enforcement as having a possible link to al-Qaida, was questioned by agents for hours on Wednesday as officials searched Zazi's apartment and the home of his aunt and uncle, both in the east Denver suburb of Aurora.
updated 9/17/2009 4:10:45 PM ET 2009-09-17T20:10:45

A man identified by law enforcement as having a possible link to al-Qaida met with his attorney Thursday before a second round of questioning by federal agents.

Najibullah Zazi planned to meet with FBI agents later in the day, said the attorney, Arthur Folsom.

Agents questioned Zazi for hours on Wednesday. They also searched Zazi's apartment and the home of his aunt and uncle, both in the east Denver suburb of Aurora.

Folsom said Zazi has never met with al-Qaida operatives and isn't involved in terrorism.

"He's simply somebody who was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Folsom said.

Folsom said he believes the FBI would have arrested Zazi if agents had found anything suspicious his apartment, but Zazi is still free.

"They wouldn't have taken a chance on his appearing (Thursday)," Folsom said.

Born in Afghanistan
Folsom says Zazi, 24, was born in Afghanistan in 1985, moved to Pakistan at age 7 and emigrated to the United States in 1999. Zazi's aunt had said earlier that he was born in Pakistan and grew up in Queens, New York.

Folsom said Zazi has returned to Pakistan four times in recent years: in 2004 because his grandfather was sick and dying, in 2006 to get married and in 2007 and 2008 to visit his wife.

Two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that a joint FBI-New York Police Department task force had put Zazi under surveillance because of suspected links to al-Qaida.

The task force also feared Zazi may be involved in a potential plot involving homemade hydrogen peroxide-based explosives like those cited in an intelligence warning issued Monday, said the officials, who spoke on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the investigation.

After Zazi traveled to New York City over the weekend, FBI agents and police officers armed with search warrants seeking bomb materials searched three apartments and questioned residents in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in Queens.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments