RTTNews – A federal jury in Brooklyn has convicted two men charged with plotting to blow up fuel tanks at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, said prosecutors on Monday.
According to prosecutors, the jury found Russell Defreitas, a former airport cargo worker, and Abdul Kadir, a former member of the Guyanese parliament, guilty conspiring to blow up JFK’s jet-fuel supply tanks and pipeline in 2007.
Defreitas was found guilty on all six counts against him, including conspiring to attack a public transportation system, to destroy a building or other real property by fire or explosive, to attack aircraft and aircraft materials, to destroy or damage international airport facilities and to attack a mass transportation facility, and surveillance of a mass transportation facility.
Abdul Kadir was found guilty on five counts, but was acquitted of a charge of surveillance of a mass-transportation facility. The duo face possibility of life in prison when sentenced on 15th December. The jury arrived at the decision after five days were deliberations.
A third defendant in the case, Abdul Nur, had pleaded guilty in June to providing material support to terrorists just as the trial was set to begin. Nur, who is also a Guyanese national, faces up to 15 years in prison. A fourth suspect in the case is yet to be brought to trial.
The defendants were arrested after their plot was busted by federal agents in 2007, before they could move beyond the planning stage. They have been under US custody since their detentions. While Defreitas was arrested in New York in 2007, Kadir was arrested in Trinidad and extradited to the United States to stand trial.
Earlier, prosecutors had argued that the both Defreitas and Kadir had plotted to kill thousands of people by blowing up the JFK airport, stressing that the pair “took concrete steps to make this plan a reality”. They also accused the duo of seeking help from a militant Muslim group in Trinidad for carrying out the attack.
Prosecutors alleged in their closing arguments that the duo wanted to set off an explosion “so massive… that it could be seen from far, far away,” pointing out that they had obtained satellite photos of the airport and conducted a surveillance to identify potential targets and escape routes.