CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. July 21, 2010: Guyana`s former Member of Parliament, Abdul Kadir, on Tuesday insisted he was innocent of an alleged terror plot aimed at blowing up New York`s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Kadir took the stand in his own defense in a Brooklyn Court yesterday and testified that he was not involved in the 2007 terror plot with fellow Guyanese turned naturalized U.S. citizen, Russell Defreitas.
His claim was in contrast to what prosecutors have told jurors. In their case, the government insists that Defreitas and informant Steven Francis showed Kadir a videotape of airport fuel tanks and he expressed interest in a plot to blow them up.
But Kadir testified that while he did look at the video, he did not say no right away because he was hoping that Defreitas and Francis would introduce him to rich American Muslims who might help finance a mosque in Guyana.
Defreitas was arrested June 1, 2007, in Brooklyn. Defreitas and co-defendant Kadir 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.
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.
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.