Terror suspect's uncle charged, released

Jan. 27, 2010 at 3:37 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- An uncle of Denver terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi was arrested in New York on a felony charge and released, court documents and interviews indicate.

Court filings indicate Naqib Jaji, 38, who lived in the New York borough of Queens for several years before moving to a Denver suburb, was arrested and arraigned Jan. 14 in U.S. District Court in New York, but the precise nature of the charges are unknown because the proceedings were sealed, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said it appears from the docket sheet in the case that Jaji pleaded not guilty to a single felony count and, after being held for several days, was released from federal custody.

The Times said Jaji defended his nephew to the media when Zazi, a shuttle driver at the Denver airport and former Queens resident, emerged last year as a central suspect in an alleged al-Qaida terror plot.

Jaji's lawyer and U.S. officials declined to comment, but family members told the newspaper he had returned to New York to find work in recent weeks and was questioned repeatedly by FBI agents.

Zazi and two associates were indicted in September on charges of conspiring to set off bombs in the United States.

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