Thursday, December 16, 2010

Former PNCR parliamentarian Abdul Kadir sentenced to life in prison

In terror plot to blow up John F. Kennedy Airport…

FORMER People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Member of Parliament Mr. Abdul Kadir was yesterday sentenced to life in prison for his role in a failed plot to blow up fuel lines and tanks at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.Kadir was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry in Brooklyn, New York, according to a report by Thom Weidlich of Bloomberg News, one of several reports doing the rounds on the Internet yesterday afternoon.

Kadir and Russell Defreitas, a former Evergreen Airlines cargo worker at the airport, were convicted on Aug. 2 by a federal jury there. Defreitas, a U.S. citizen and native of Guyana, is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Kadir, 59, Defreitas, 67, and their accomplices circulated their plan to an international network of Muslim extremists, according to evidence at the trial.
The attacks were designed to destroy “the whole of Kennedy,” Defreitas said in a taped conversation heard by the jury. The airport is the largest in the New York City area and is located in the borough of Queens.
“There can be no doubt whatsoever that the offences for which Mr. Kadir was convicted are about as serious as they come, short of actual murder,” Irizarry said before sentencing him.
The plot, hatched by Defreitas in 2006, was foiled in the planning stages with the aid of an informant, Steven Francis, according to testimony at the trial.
The plotters conducted surveillance of the airport, including videotaping its buildings, and sought expert advice, financing and explosives, prosecutors said.

Kadir was an engineer who advised on the technical aspects of the plot, prosecutors said. Before entering parliament, he was the Mayor of Linden, Guyana’s second-largest town, after Georgetown.
Kadir was arrested in 2007 en route to Iran. Prosecutors said he was going there to gain financial and operational support for the plot. Kadir testified at the trial that he was travelling to Iran to ask for money for a mosque and to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s former supreme leader.
“Every unbiased and unprejudiced person knows that I am innocent,” Kadir said at his sentencing yesterday.
The Bloomberg report said he testified that he sent reports on Guyana’s economy, politics and military to the Iranian ambassador in Venezuela beginning in the 1980s. He said the reports were based on publicly available information and sending them wasn’t illegal. He denied prosecutors’ suggestion that he was an Iranian spy.

Prosecutors said Kadir should get life in prison, arguing that he played a “key role” in the conspiracy and lied “repeatedly” under oath.
Defreitas compared the plot to terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center in September 2001 when two planes were crashed into the towers.
“Even the twin towers can’t touch it,” he said in one conversation that Francis recorded and jurors heard. “This can destroy the economy of America for some time.”
Kadir and Defreitas will appeal, their lawyers have said.
Abdel Nur, 60, a citizen of Guyana, pleaded guilty in June to providing support to terrorists. He was scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, which has been changed to a status conference to address his medical condition.
Kareem Ibrahim, a citizen of Trinidad, was granted a separate trial due to a medical condition. A trial date hasn’t been set yet.

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