CaribWorldNews, BROOKLYN, NY, Thurs. July 1, 2010: Two Guyanese men accused to planning to bomb fuel lines leading to the New York J.F.K. airport were more talk than action their defense attorneys said Wednesday.
Attorneys Len Kamdang and Toni Messina told jurors on opening day of the trial of terror suspects, Russell Defreitas, 66, and Abdul Kadir, 58, that it was all `empty talk.`
The government, Kamdang said, took a `poor, lonely, bitter old man that talked big game,` and, through an informant, nudged him into incriminating himself.
`Without the government, Russell Defreitas is nothing,` Kamdang said. His words were `all sizzle and no steak.`
But U.S. prosecutors insisted that the two did more than just talk but `took concrete steps to make this plan a reality.`
Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger said Defreitas, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Guyana, and Kadir, a former member of parliament in the South American country, formed a conspiracy to attack the airport.
But the plan was nowhere near operational at the time of their June 2007 arrests.
Two other men were also arrested in the plot. Kareem Ibrahim, of Trinidad and Tobago, was deemed too ill and may face trial at a later date. Guyanese Abdel Nur, 60, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a separate charge of material support to terrorism and faces up to 15 years in prison.
If convicted, DeFreitas and Kadir face life in prison.