CaribWorldNews, BROOKLYN, NY, Tues. July 20, 2010: A 65-year-old Guyanese national, turned U.S. citizen, accused in a plot to blow up fuel lines at New York`s John F. Kennedy International Airport, reportedly hoped to benefit financially from the scheme.
Testifying in the case of Russell Defreitas, the Guyana-born a former Evergreen Airlines cargo worker, New York City detective Robert Addonizio, who assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, told jurors at the terror trial Monday that the accused `wanted to make money off the plan.`
Addonizio testified on Monday that Defreitas said during his first interview at the Federal Bureau of Investigation`s New York headquarters that it was his idea to blow up fuel lines and tanks at the airport.
Still, he admitted under cross-examination by Len H. Kamdang, a lawyer for Defreitas, that investigators on the case, during an October 2006 meeting, concluded that the alleged plotters lacked the funds and `logistical support` to carry out the plot.
The jury has so far heard a taped conversation in which Defreitas is heard saying that the attacks were designed to destroy `the whole of Kennedy,` the largest airport in the New York City area.
The plot was foiled in the planning stages with the aid of an informant, Steven Francis, who had infiltrated the group accused of being behind the scheme, prosecutors said.
Defreitas was arrested June 1, 2007, in Brooklyn. Defreitas and co-defendant Abdul Kadir, who once served as a member of the Guyanese Parliament, are charged with hatching the plot in January 2006. They circulated their plan to an international network of Muslim extremists, prosecutors said in court papers.
Defreitas, a U.S. citizen and native of Guyana, pleaded not guilty in 2007. Defreitas and Kadir face life in prison if convicted.
Abdel Nur, another citizen of Guyana, pleaded guilty June 29 to one count of providing support to terrorists. Kareem Ibrahim, a citizen of Trinidad, was granted a separate trial at a later date due to a medical condition.