NEW YORK, United – A Guyanese national charged in an international plot to blow up fuel lines at the John F Kennedy International Airport in 2007 has pleaded guilty to furnishing material support to his co-defendants.
“I provided guidance in order to assist them in their plan to attack the fuel line at JFK airport to cause major economic harm to the United States,” Abdel Nur told US District Judge Dora Irizzary, of Brooklyn federal court, one day before he was scheduled to go on trial.
Nur, 60, was extradited from Trinidad and Tobago to stand trial.
US Prosecutors said he acted as a “go-between” with the alleged mastermind, Guyanese-born Russell Defreitas, 66, a US citizen, who worked as cargo handler at John F Kennedy International.
An indictment unsealed in 2007 said the men hoped to “cause greater destruction than in the September 11 attacks” by using explosives to ignite a fuel pipeline feeding JFK and to destroy the airport and parts of Queens, where the line runs underground.
The authorities said the plot, which the men code-named Chicken Farm, never got past the planning stages.
Defreitas and fellow Guyanese, Abdul Kadir, 58, a former People’s National Congress parliamentarian, are scheduled to go on trial today.
The fourth defendant, Trinidadian Kareem Ibrahim, 59, has been granted a separate trial after he had gone on a hunger strike in prison and became ill. It is now unclear when he would be tried.
Under the plea agreement made public on Tuesday, Nur has avoided the possibility of life in prison if convicted. He now faces up to 15 years in prison, prosecutors said.
“I became aware that individuals who I had known were developing a plan that had as its goal the use of an explosive device or material to destroy or extremely damage fuel tanks or fuel pipelines at the John F Kennedy international airport,” Nur told the court, reading from a prepared statement.
“I understand the destruction of the fuel and planes was to cause major economic loss in the US,” he added.