A recently uncovered terror plot to detonate bombs in New York may have included the fashion and beauty worlds among its intended sources of supply — as well as its targets. Several suspects allegedly purchased chemicals to be used in bombs at beauty supply stores, court documents showed Thursday. A grand jury in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn indicted Najibullah Zazi, 24, of Aurora, Colo., on one count of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction on Wednesday. In a memo filed with the indictment, federal prosecutors alleged Zazi, an airport shuttle driver, and unnamed conspirators purchased “unusual quantities” of hydrogen peroxide and acetone at unnamed shops in the Denver area over the summer. Zazi’s computer allegedly contained pages of handwritten notes that detailed how to convert the salon products into bombs similar to those used in the July 2005 bombings in London, authorities said. The memo was filed as part of the government’s effort to have Zazi, who is a permanent U.S. resident originally from Afghanistan, held without bail. According to the document, Zazi traveled to New York from Colorado on Sept. 9, but returned on Sept. 12 after becoming suspicious. A Queens imam and police informant has been accused of tipping Zazi off to the investigation. Authorities have declined to provide details of the plot’s possible targets. Earlier-published reports alleged Zazi had used his computer to research New York transit hubs and other landmarks such as Bryant Park, which recently played host to New York Fashion Week. He is detained in Denver, but prosecutors have asked that he be transferred to Brooklyn.
September 25, 2009