Two Islamist militants were found guilty yesterday by a federal jury of plotting to bomb John F Kennedy International Airport. Russell Defreitas, 67, a US citizen born in Guyana, and Abdul Kadir, 58, of Guyana, conspired to blow up buildings, fuel tanks and pipelines at the airport in the New York City borough of Queens.
The men, who were arrested in June 2007, face up to life in prison. They are due to be sentenced on 15 December. Defreitas, who had worked at the airport, provided knowledge of its facilities and layout, prosecutors said, while Kadir, an engineer, helped with technical aspects such as how to blow up the buried fuel pipelines.
At the trial in Brooklyn, prosecutors said Defreitas and Kadir "took concrete steps to make this plan a reality". But officials have said the plot was nowhere near being operational when the men were arrested.
This was the first case involving a plot against New York to go before a local jury since 2006. During the four-week trial before District Judge Dora Irizarry, jurors heard testimony and watched video clips of the airport filmed by Defreitas, and listened to audio recordings of the men made by a government informant.
The men sought to offer their plans to Jamaat al Muslimeen, an Islamist extremist group in Trinidad and Tobago, prosecutors said.