JFK terror plot suspect found guilty

by Alister POOLE on May 27, 2011

A former leader of Trinidad’s Shia Muslim community was convicted yesterday of taking part in failed plots to blow up both fuel tanks and pipelines on JFK airport’s premises, as well as in the areas that surround it.

Mr Kareem Ibrahim was found guilty of each of the five conspiracy counts he had held against him for involvement in the plot, which US authorities say was meant to top 9/11. Already, Russell Defreitas and his associate Abdul Kadir have started serving life sentences after being convicted for the roles they had in the plots.

Ibrahim, aged 65, is also facing life in prison and will be sentenced on the 21st of October. Prosecutors say that the men wanted to kill thousands across New York and shake America’s economy by making sure fuel tanks and pipelines were completely blown up around a neighbourhood close to the airport in the borough of Queens.

The scheme became uncovered once an informant recorded discussions about the planned attack that took place between Kadir and Defreitas. They began preparations for carrying out the attack in 2006. Mr Defreitas, 68 years old and an ex-cargo handler, and Kadir, who hailed from Guyana and worked in parliament, were convicted of their conspiracy charges last year in August.

On Thursday, federal prosecutors pointed the finger at Ibrahim, previously ruled too ill to face trial, for offering religious instruction, as well as operational support, to those that were going to carry out the plot from May 2007 until his capture. In his defence, Ibrahim protests that he offered the men guidance on how to carry out suicide bombings only.

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