Two Muslims Convicted of Plot to Blow Up Fuel Tanks at JFK
August 2, 2010
Two convicted in JFK airport bomb plot
Two men charged with plotting to blow up fuel tanks at New York's JFK Airport have been found guilty.
Prosecutors had said Russell Defreitas and Abdul Kadir planned to cause a huge explosion by igniting the fuel depot and underground pipelines in 2007.
Kadir, a former member of Guyana's parliament, was charged with arranging financing for the plot. Defreitas was a former cargo handler at the airport.
The defence argued that they had been led astray by a police informant.
But prosecutors said the pair had sought the help of militant Islamists, including an al-Qaeda operative, for a plan intended to kill thousands of people. Prosecutors said the pair "took concrete steps to make this plan a reality".
They wanted to set off an explosion "so massive... that it could be seen from far, far away", Assistant US Attorney Zainab Ahmad said in closing arguments.
Prosecutors said Defreitas had shot video and photos of the airport, studied airport security and planned escape routes.
They said that in planning an attack on the airport, Kadir had stressed the economic damage it would cause and urged his alleged co-conspirators to minimise the killing of innocent men and women.
Kadir is trained as an engineer, and was heard in intercepted conversations explaining how to cause explosions that would provide enough oxygen to ignite the fuel tanks at the airport, prosecutors said.