NEW YORK — The imam entangled in the investigation into a suicide bomb plot against New York City subway stations left the US Monday under court order after admitting he lied to the FBI. Among his final words on US soil, his lawyer says, were "God bless America."
Ahmad Wais Afzali and his wife Fatima took off on a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight to Jeddah and then will go on to Mecca, where Fatima got a job teaching English, said the lawyer, Ron Kuby. Afzali, who was born in Afghanistan but spent most of his life in Queens, isn't sure what he's going to do there, Kuby said. Most of his family lives in Virginia, including two children from a previous marriage.
Afzali, under the terms of his plea April 15, was sentenced to time served — four days— but ordered to leave the country in 90 days.
Authorities sought help last fall from the imam, a previously reliable police source, as they scrambled to thwart the plot by Najibullah Zazi, an airport van driver who pleaded guilty in the case.