US court sentences Defreitas for life over plotting to blow up NY JFK Airport

February 18th, 2011 - 2:26 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, Feb 18 (ANI): A US court has handed down a ‘life term’ sentence to Russell Defreitas, the man convicted of potting to blow up fuel tanks at New York’s JFK Airport.

In December last year, Defreitas’ co-defendant Abdul Kadir, a former member of Guyana’s parliament, was given the same sentence after the pair was convicted in August.

The BBC quoted prosecutors as saying that 67-year-old Defreitas, a former cargo handler, had hoped the act would rival the 9/11 terror attacks.

The prosecutors also said that Defreitas and Kadir, both originally from Guyana, had planned to use explosives to blow up fuel tanks and underground pipes, adding that the act could have shaken the US economy, the report said.

They further claimed that both the convicts had shot videos and photos of the airport, studied airport security and planned escape routes.

Meanwhile, the US justice department has said that a large part of the case was based on conversations recorded by a convicted drug trafficker who had agreed to act as an informant for the government in exchange for leniency in his own sentence and a stipend, the report added.

The informant and the alleged co-conspirators had reportedly discussed the plot in the US and during visits to Guyana from late summer 2006 to mid-2007, with the informant recording most of the conversations, court documents have said.

“The whole of Kennedy will go up in smoke,” Defreitas was heard saying.

Of the two others charged in the plot, Abdel Nur was sentenced to 15 years in prison in January, and Kareem Ibrahim is awaiting trial. (ANI)

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