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 CaribbeanChoice : General Discussion : News, Current Events & Politics
Message Icon Topic: 4 Persons Charged In New York Airport Terror Plot Post Reply Post New Topic
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Shucander
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Quote Shucander Replybullet Topic: 4 Persons Charged In New York Airport Terror Plot
    Posted: 02 June 2007 at 3:51pm

4 Charged In New York Airport Terror Plot

Foiled Plan Involved Blowing Up Fuel Pipeline

NEW YORK Four people, including a former member of the Guyanese Parliament and a U.S. citizen, have been charged with conspiring to attack New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport by planting explosives in major jet fuel supply tanks and supply lines, federal law enforcement officials said Saturday.
Three suspects have been arrested and are currently in custody.
The alleged plot involved Muslim extremists from Guyana and Trinidad, U.S. officials said at a news conference officially announcing the arrests.
U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf called it "one of the most chilling plots imaginable."
"The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable," she said. Russell "Mohammed" Defreitas, a U.S. citizen and native of Guyana, was arrested Friday night in Brooklyn, New York. Defreitas, 63, worked in the 1990s as a cargo handler for Evergreen Airlines at JFK, law enforcement officials said. He appeared for arraignment before a U.S. judge in Brooklyn on Saturday.
Federal officials said the others involved in the plot were: Abdul Kadir, a citizen of Guyana who has served as a member of the Guyanese Parliament; Guyanese citizen Abdel Nur; and Trinidadian citizen Kareem Ibrahim.
Kadir and Ibrahim are in custody in Trinidad and the U.S. is seeking their extradition, according to the criminal complaint filed against them.
Nur has been charged in connection with the plot but has not been apprehended. He is believed to be in Trinidad.
"The enforcement action that we're announcing today was taken to prevent the terrorist plot from maturing into a terrorist act," said the FBI's Mark Mershon. "This is a very determined group that engaged in precise and extensive surveillance."
Beginning in January 2006, the four conspired to destroy buildings, pipelines and supply lines, officials said.
The conspirators used Defreitas's knowledge and contacts to try to carry out this plot, law enforcement officials said.
Muslim extremists dispatched him from Guyana to New York to do video and photographic surveillance of JFK in January 2007, which he did on four occasions, according to the criminal complaint.
Officials said that in conversations recorded by the FBI, Defreitas predicted that the attacks would result in the destruction of "the whole of Kennedy” Airport and that only a few people would survive. Because of the location of the fuel pipeline, part of Queens would explode, he believed.
On another occasion, Defreitas said in an FBI recording that "Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow .... They love John F. Kennedy like he’s the man .... If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It’s like you can kill the man twice," according to the criminal complaint.
In a later FBI-recorded conversation, in regards to this planned attack, Defreitas said, "Even the Twin Towers can't touch it," adding "this can destroy the economy of America for some time."
The suspects did not have any known ties to al Qaeda, the law enforcement source told CBS News. He said the suspects appeared to be "homegrown" plotters, similar to the six suspects who were recently arrested for plotting an attack on New Jersey's Fort Dix.
"We see a self-radicalized New Yorker, who was born in Guyana and raised in Guyana, but came to New York ... worked and lived in Queens, plotting to betray his adopted country with a catastrophic attack," said New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelley.
U.S. officials said that the suspects presented their plans to "radical groups in South America and the Caribbean," including senior leadership of Jamaat Al Muslimeen, a Muslim group in Trinidad and Tobago. JAM is not known to have connections to al Qaeda, but the group is known for an attempted coup in Trinidad in 1990.
Kadir and Nur are longtime associates of JAM leaders, U.S. officials said.
They were under surveillance for some time and did not have a target date selected, the law enforcement officials said, and the men were not that close to pulling off the attack.
The FBI said in a statement, "There is no threat to air safety or the public related to this plot."
The plot, which never got past the planning stages, did not involve airplanes or passenger terminals, federal officials said.
"The bottom line is that we believe that this threat has been fully contained," Mershon said at the news conference.
"This was the ultimate hand-and-glove operation between NYPD and FBI," said U.S. Rep. Peter King, a Republican from Long Island.
JFK is one of the nation's busiest airports. Almost 4 million passengers flew into or out of the airport in March, according to the Pot Authority. JFK handled a total of 37,296 flights in March.
Nearly 41 million passengers used the airport in 2005, the latest full year for which Port Authority statistics are available.
The arrests mark the latest in a series of alleged homegrown terrorism plots targeting high-profile American landmarks.
A year ago, seven men were arrested in what officials called the early stages of a plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and destroy FBI offices and other buildings.
A month later, authorities broke up a plot to bomb underwater New York City train tunnels to flood lower Manhattan.

CBS News



Edited by Shucander - 02 June 2007 at 5:07pm
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Shucander
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Quote Shucander Replybullet Posted: 02 June 2007 at 4:14pm
Conspiring to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport
 
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Four men have been charged with conspiring to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport by planting explosives to blow up jet fuel supply tanks and a pipeline, officials said.

Homeland Security sources said there is no current threat at the airport and that the attack as planned was "not technically feasible."

The alleged plot did not target airplane flights.

"Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow...they love JFK -- he's like the man. If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It's like you can kill the man twice," one of the suspects said during a recorded phone conversation, officials said.

The airport is named in honor of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963.

At a Justice Department news conference Saturday afternoon, the plotters were described as "a determined group" whose signature was persistence.

One of the four was arrested in the United States: Former JFK cargo worker, Russell Defreitas, a U.S. citizen and native Guyanan, who was arrested in Brooklyn, New York, according to a written statement from the Department of Justice.

The other suspects were identified as Abdul Kadir of Guyana, Kareem Ibrahim of Trinidad, and Abdel Nur. The United States plans to seek extradition of the three men charged outside the United States.

Several law enforcement officials told CNN earlier that Kadir was a former member of parliament in Guyana.

The Justice statement said the men began planning the assault on January 6. A complaint alleges that the plot tapped into an international network of Muslim extremists from the United States, Guyana and Trinidad.

An official described the suspects as "al Qaeda wannabes."

.(CNN)
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