Denver Terror Cell: FBI Questioning Najibullah Zazi For Third Time; No Charges Yet

Update: Unnamed Law enforcement officials have told ABC News that text messages on Zazi's phone indicate that he was part of an attack that was very close to being executed. Among the texts retrieved from Zazi's phone was one that said "the wedding cake is ready." According to ABC news, al Qaeda operatives frequently use weddings as code to disguise terrorist attacks. ABC also cites law enforcement officials in reporting that Zazi had been researching sports stadiums and fashion show sites.

Update: The Denver Post reports that Denver terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi and his attorney, Arthur Folsom, have decided to discontinue discussions with the FBI. In an interview with the Post this morning, Zazi denied widely-published reports that he had admitted to having ties to al Qaeda, and intended to enter into a plea deal. "It's not true," Zazi said. "I have nothing to hide. It's all media publications reporting whatever they want. They have been reporting all this nonsense."

Meanwhile the New York Post is reporting that 7 of Zazi's "associates" were taken into custody in Queens, NY, where Zazi had traveled earlier this month, prompting raids of several Queens apartments.

Update: ABC News reports that Najibullah Zazi has admitted to having al Qaeda ties and may plead guilty as part of a plea deal with the Government.

Update: Citing unnamed sources, the New York Daily News reports that Zazi and his lawyer, Arthur Folsom, are willing to cut a deal with the FBI whereby Zazi "admit[s] receiving military training - but den[ies] plans to injure any Americans."

Read the AP Story on Zazi's third day of questioning:

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DENVER — A man being investigated in a terrorism probe in New York and Colorado was asked to return for a third day of questioning by the FBI on Friday.

Najibullah Zazi has already undergone hours of questioning this week, and his apartment and his uncle and aunt's home in suburban Denver have been searched.

Authorities have not said what they found and have made no public statements on the investigation.

Zazi hasn't been arrested, and his attorney, Arthur Folsom, says he doesn't expect him to be.

A black SUV with heavily tinted windows picked up Folsom outside his office Friday morning and took him into a garage under the FBI building. It wasn't clear whether Zazi was also in the vehicle. An FBI spokeswoman didn't immediately return a call.

An official familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press that Zazi had contact with a known al-Qaida associate, but would not provide details on the location or nature of the encounter. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The official said agents have been monitoring Zazi and four others in Colorado as part of a terrorism investigation.

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 Thursday.

Folsom told The Denver Post the agents aren't repeating questions to Zazi but are asking different things.

"They are going through things – the best I can describe it is chronologically. Covering all the bases," Folsum said.

Zazi is a driver for an airport shuttle service in Denver. Authorities say he rented a car and drove from Denver to New York, crossing into Manhattan the day before the Sept. 11 anniversary.

He was stopped in what was described as a routine stop at the George Washington Bridge before he was allowed to go free.

A relative says Zazi drove because he wanted to see the American countryside. Zazi says he went to New York to resolve some issues with a coffee cart he owns in Manhattan, but officials suspected that something more sinister might have been in the works.

FBI agents and police officers with search warrants seeking bomb materials searched three apartments and questioned residents in the neighborhood in Queens where he was staying.

A joint FBI-New York Police Department task force feared Zazi may be involved in a potential plot involving hydrogen peroxide-based explosives like those cited in an intelligence warning issued Monday, said two other law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the investigation.

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, N.Y.

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.


Associated Press Writers Adam Goldman in Washington, D.C. contributed to this report.