This is important, not only because of the Trinidad-Guyana connexion [which brings in the issue of whether el Shukrijumah was engaged at some level in the process] but especially because of a factor that was not stressed in the news -- the plot seems to date back something like ten years, which opens up uncomfortable questions as to what had been going on in some sectors of the region's Islamic communities over the past twenty years or so.
According to an NBC report:
Federal authorities say they foiled an alleged plot by a retired airport worker [63-year-old Russell Defreitas . . . Also known as Mohammed], a former Guyanese Parliament member [Abdul Kadir, an imam in Guyana who had served in their parliament and was mayor of the town of Linden, Guyana] and other Muslim extremists [ NB: Third arrested: Trinidad citizen Kareem Ibrahim. The suspect on the loose is Abdel Nur, a Guyanese] to plant explosives on jet fuel arteries at John F. Kennedy International Airport, triggering massive casualties and economic havoc.Three men were arrested and a fourth sought in Trinidad for reportedly hatching the brazen scheme that they boasted would be worse than 9/11 and put "the whole country in mourning," authorities said.While an AP report cites "pipeline and security experts" to the effect that the attack, if carried out, "probably would not have led to significant loss of life as intended," they agreed that it would have "crippled America's economy, particularly the airline industry," which in turn would have immediately devastated our region economically; not least because commonly available informed estimates indicate that about 1/4 each of employment and GDP in the Caribbean comes out of the tourism industry.
However, the AP report also notes:
Russell Defreitas, a U.S. citizen native to Guyana and former JFK air cargo employee, said the airport named for the slain president was targeted because it is a symbol that would put "the whole country in mourning."
"It's like you can kill the man twice," said Defreitas, 63, who first hatched his plan more than a decade ago when he worked as a cargo handler for a service company, according to the indictment.
Authorities said the men were motivated by hatred toward the United States and Israel. Defreitas was recorded saying he "wanted to do something to get those bastards" and he boasted that he had been taught to make bombs in Guyana.