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`Plot' against JFK airport: 4 arrested

The four planned to attack the airport by planting explosives

NEW YORK: Three persons with connection to Caribbean, including a former member of Guyana's Parliament, were arrested and fourth one is being sought for allegedly planning terrorist attack on New York's John F. Kennedy airport.

Law enforcement officials said the plan was to blow up fuel lines and tanks and was not directly aimed at aircraft or passengers at the busiest airport in the United States.

However, it was nowhere near execution when busted though there had been a thorough surveillance by the plotters of the intended targets at the airport.

All the four persons have been charged with conspiring to bomb one of the most busiest airports in the US, American attorny Roslyn Mauskopf said in a statement.

The plot allegedly involved Jamaat Al Muslimeen, described by officials as an international network of Muslim extremists from the US, Guyana, and Trinidad, according to the Justice Department.

Anti-terrorist forces arrested one of the defendants, Russell Defreitas, a former employee at John F. Kennedy airport in New York, while former member of Guyana's Parliament Abdul Kadir and a Trinidadian, Kareem Ibrahim, were in custody in Trinidad.

The CNN said Defreitas was described as a "very angry Muslim extremist". He allegedly used his knowledge of airport operations to identify targets and escape routes and assess airport security and also used satellite photographs of the airport downloaded from the Internet.

The fourth defendant, Abdel Nur, who was also a Guyanese citizen, according to the statement, was not believed to be in custody.

But the investigators also said that the airport was never in danger and the attack as planned was not "technically feasible".

A wiretap transcript the FBI gave CNN indicated the plotters targeted the airport because of the popularity of its namesake.

"Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States.... This whole country will be in mourning. It's like you can kill the man twice," the transcript quotes one suspect as saying.

Officials said the plot was revealed when the conspirators tried to recruit a person who was police informer.

The plot had been in the works since January last year and law enforcement officials said the conspirators planned to tap into the international network of Muslim extremists in the United States, Guyana and Trinidad.

Addressing a press conference, Assistant Director in- charge of investigation at the New York field office of FBI, said that they believed that the threat has been fully contained.

The officials did not immediately make any connection of the alleged conspirators with al Qaeda.

Officials said the jet fuel pipeline the plotters planned to target is 64 km long and carries jet fuel to two other New York area airports - LaGuardia and Newark Liberty.

News of the alleged plot comes just weeks after six alleged Islamic radicals were charged with plotting an attack on a US Army base in the northeastern state of New Jersey. -- PTI

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