Man Sentenced to Life in Brooklyn for Plotting to Blow Up JFK Airport

jfk airport
By Allan Lengel

A federal judge in Brooklyn on Thursday sentenced Russell Defreitas to life in prison for conspiring to blow up fuel tanks and pipelines under John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens.

A federal jury convicted Russell Defreitas and co-conspirator Abdul Kadir in July 2010 after a nine-week trial, authorities said.

Evidence at trial showed that Russell Defreitas, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Guyana, originated the idea to attack JFK Airport and its fuel tanks and pipelines. He had worked at the airport as a cargo handler.

In 2006 and 2007, he recruited recruited Abdul Kadir and others to join the plot during multiple trips to Guyana and Trinidad, authorities said.

Between trips, Defreitas did video surveillance of JFK Airport and transported the footage back to Guyana to show Kadir and their co-conspirators.

Authorities said “Kadir, a trained engineer with connections to militant groups in Iran and Venezuela, provided the conspirators with links to individuals with terrorist experience, advice on explosive materials, and a bank account through which to finance the terrorist attack.”

On Dec. 15,Kadir was sentenced to life. Another defendant, Abdel Nur was sentenced in January to 15 years in prison and a fourth man, Kareem Ibrahim, still faces trial.

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