On August 28, 2008, "Najibullah Zazi flew to Peshawar, Pakistan from Newark International Airport via Geneva, Switzerland and Doha, Qatar. CBP (US Customs and Border Protection) records further reflect that (Zazi) traveled from Peshawar to John F. Kennedy International Airport on or about Jan. 15, 2009."
"On September 10, 2009, New York City Police Department (NYPD) detectives met with defendant Afzali (a Flushing, NY resident), whom the NYPD had utilized as a source in the past," suggesting that the DOJ will use him against the younger Zazi and offer leniency if he cooperates - a familiar tactic to frame other innocent victims and show how law enforcement is removing "bad guys," targeted for political advantage.
According to The New York Times, he was born on August 10, 1985 in a small Eastern Afghanistan village. In 1991 or 1992, his family moved to the Peshawar area of Pakistan - "ground zero in the US jihadist war and home to many Al-Queda operatives," according to the DOJ.
In the early 1990s, Mohammed Zazi, his father, came to Flushing, New York, drove a cab, worked 12-hour shifts, lived in a two-bedroom apartment, and prayed at the nearby Hazrat Abu Bakr Mosque. The younger Zazi was much like others in his high school, but he did poorly in his studies and dropped out before graduating. According to his step-uncle, Mr. Rasooli, "He was a dumb kid, believe me," but tried to make enough money to help his father.
He worked as a coffee cart vendor on New York streets, and said he drove back to New York to clear up related issues. According to an old customer, Imran Khan, he was back at his regular spot on the morning of September 11, 2009. Khan and others saw him joking and laughing with some old regulars, not heading off to detonate bombs.
In addition, an acquaintance named Rahul recalled Zazi saying about the 9/11 attacks: "I don't know how people could do things like this. I'd never do anything like that." Other friends agreed that he abhorred violence and called terrorism at odds with the teachings of Islam. He was a devout Muslim, grew his beard long, and occasionally wore tunics instead of more Western-style clothes.
On a 2006 trip to Pakistan, he married and hoped later to be able to afford to bring his new wife to America. Each year, he flew back to see her, including on August 28, 2008, the FBI-announced trip in its press release. Two months after he returned the following January, he filed for bankruptcy and moved to Colorado to live more cheaply and be close to an aunt and uncle in Aurora.