The last of four men charged with hatching a terror plot to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport was convicted last Thursday and now faces life in prison.
Kareem Ibrahim, an Imam from Trinidad, was convicted of numerous counts of conspiracy to attack and destroy U.S. infrastructure.
“In pursuit of a radical terrorist agenda, bent on the destruction of John F. Kennedy Airport and the murder of innocent civilians, Imam Kareem Ibrahim abandoned the true tenets of his religion,” said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. “We will continue to seek out and bring to justice all those who plot to attack the United States and its people.”
Ibrahim was arrested in June 2007 along with Russell Defreitas, Abdel Nur and Abdul Kadir. Prosecutors said the four men, led by Defreitas, concocted a plan to detonate fuel tanks and the Buckeye Pipeline, a 200,000-mile network of underground pipes that supply JFK Airport with fuel.
According to the criminal charges, beginning in 2006, Defreitas, a former JFK Airport cargo worker, wanted to cause massive damage to the airport and began recruiting men and funds for the attack. Defreitas sought Ibrahim because of his alleged connections with militant leaders in Iran. During his four-week trial, Ibrahim admitted to advising the men to seek out Iranian revolutionary leaders and use suicide attacks at the airport.
Ibrahim told Defrietas that the attackers must be ready to “fight it out, kill who you could kill and go back to Allah.”
Prosecutors also charged the conspirators with attempting to enlist terrorist leaders from al Qaeda and the Trinidanian militant group Jamaat Al Muslimeen.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York.
“Ibrahim and his co-conspirators had elaborate plans to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport, not only to cause carnage, but also to damage the economy,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice Fedarcyk. “Today’s guilty verdict is not only a victory for the American justice system, it is also a rejection of the extremist ideology he supported.”
Defreitas and Kadir were tried and convicted last July. They were sentenced to life in prison. Nur pleaded guilty to conspiracy last June and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Ibrahim will be sentenced on October 21.
by Eric Yun