Man given life term for plot to blow up airport
New York: A 65-year-old man was sentenced to
life in prison for conspiring in a 9/11-like terror plot to
blow up the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York by
exploding fuel tanks and pipelines.
Kareem Ibrahim, a Shiite imam from Trinidad & Tobago, was
sentenced in the Eastern District of New York by US District
Judge Dora Irizarry for the failed plot through which he
wanted to cause "extensive damage to the airport, to the New
York economy, as well as the loss of numerous lives."
"Kareem Ibrahim abandoned the true tenets of his religion
and plotted to commit a terrorist attack that he hoped would
rival 9/11," US Attorney Loretta Lynch said.
Ibrahim was convicted by a federal jury of multiple
terrorism offenses in May 2011 after a four-week trial, during
which it was established that he provided religious
instruction and operational support to a group plotting to
commit the terrorist attack at the airport.
He had also persuaded the plotters to seek financial and
logistical help from Iran.
Ibrahim is the last of four defendants, arrested and
charged in the plot, to be sentenced. He was arrested along
with Abdul Kadir and Abdel Nur in Trinidad in June 2007 and
was subsequently extradited to the United States. Another
co-conspirator US citizen Russell Defreitas was arrested in
After a nine-week trial in 2010, Defreitas and Kadir, who
was a former member of parliament in Guyana, were convicted of
terrorism charges and handed down life imprisonment sentences.
Nur had pleaded guilty before trial to supporting the plot and
was sent to 15 years in jail.
The plot originated with Defreitas, who had previously
worked at the JFK airport as a cargo handler. He planned to
attack the airport's fuel tanks and fuel pipeline.
In May 2007, Defreitas presented Ibrahim with video
surveillance and satellite imagery of the targets for
terrorist attack because Ibrahim had connections with militant
leaders in Iran.
During cross-examination at trial, Ibrahim admitted he
advised the plotters to present the plot to revolutionary
leaders in Iran and to use operatives ready to engage in
suicide attacks at the airport.
On one of the recorded
conversations entered into evidence, Ibrahim told Defreitas
that the attackers must be ready to "fight it out, kill who
you could kill and go back to Allah."
According to the trial evidence, the conspirators
attempted to enlist support for the plot from prominent
international terrorist groups, including al Qaeda leader
Adnan El Shukrijumah and leader of the Trinidadian militant
group Jamaat Al Muslimeen Yasin Abu Bakr.
For the plot, Kadir was also sent to meet with his
contacts in the Iranian revolutionary leadership, including
Mohsen Rabbani, the former cultural attache indicted for his
role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in