Imam claims innocence in NYC terrorism case

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2009 6:44 PM

An imam charged with lying in the investigation of an alleged terrorism plot against New York says he's a loyal American who was framed.

Ahmad Afzali (AKH'-mahd ahf-ZAH'-lee) told reporters before a pretrial hearing in Brooklyn on Friday that he is innocent and hopes "justice will prevail."

Afzali is charged with lying to the FBI about the investigation of Najibullah Zazi (nah-jee-BOO'-lah ZAH'-zee). The Colorado airport driver is accused of getting training from al-Qaida to build homemade bombs to attack New York City.

Prosecutors say Afzali tipped off Zazi that he was under surveillance.

Afzali's attorneys say Afzali called Zazi at the request of bumbling NYPD detectives and have accused authorities of setting a "perjury trap."