Imam and Informant Tells Why He Lied

A. G. Sulzberger
The New York Times

He had built a life in this country. He grew up in Queens, attended high school there, and became a religious leader in his community. He would marry and marry again, have children, and buy a plot nearby where he planned to be buried.

For Ahmad Wais Afzali, the clock on that life started ticking Thursday.

Mr. Afzali, an imam who was also an infrequent police informant, was sentenced in United States District Court in Brooklyn in connection with a plot to set off bombs in the subway, a scheme that would be described as the most significant threat to national security since 9/11…

…He will be deported if he does not leave the country within 90 days.

“I’m standing in front of you as a convicted felon, a lying imam, which is a physical, emotional and spiritual burden far greater than any sentence you could impose,” Mr. Afzali told Judge Frederic Block in the brief sentencing hearing.

“Honest to God,” he added, “it was never my intention to help those idiots for what they do in the name of Islam.” …

The entire article is at the New York Times.

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