Published June 02, 2007
NEW YORK – One of the daughters of a man among four accused in a terror plot to destroy John F. Kennedy International Airport and surrounding areas told FOX News Saturday that her father was "falsely arrested."
Abdul Kadir, a Muslim and former member of Parliament in Guyana, was arrested in Trinidad for attempting to secure money for "terrorist operations," according to a Guyanese police commander who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Kadir's wife, Isha, said that her husband was nabbed while boarding a flight to Venezuela, where he planned to pick up a travel visa to attend an Islamic religious conference in Iran. He had flown from Guyana to Trinidad on Thursday.
But Kadir's daughter said that her father had no knowledge or association to the plot that aimed to kill thousands of people and trigger an economic catastrophe by blowing up a jet fuel artery that runs through populous residential neighborhoods.
Kadir has no problems with America, would never do anything wrong and would never associate with a group like Al Qaeda, his daughter said.
"This is a total surprise," she said.
"We have no interest in blowing up anything in the U.S.," Isha said Saturday from the couple's home in Guyana. "We have relatives in the U.S."
Both were reacting after three men were arrested and one was being sought in Trinidad. In an indictment charging the four men, one of them is quoted as saying the foiled plot would "cause greater destruction than in the Sept. 11 attacks," destroying the airport, killing several thousand people and destroying parts of Queens, where the line runs underground.
One of the suspects, Russell Defreitas, a U.S. citizen native to Guyana and former JFK employee, said the airport was a symbol that would put "the whole country in mourning."
"It's like you can kill the man twice," Defreitas said, according to the indictment.
The plot never got past the planning stages. It posed no immediate threat to air safety or the public, the FBI said Saturday.
"The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable," U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf said at a news conference, calling it "one of the most chilling plots imaginable."
Defreitas was in custody in Brooklyn and was expected to be arraigned Saturday afternoon.
Another man, Kareem Ibrahim of Trinidad, was in custody in Trinidad. A fourth man, Abdel Nur of Guyana, was still being sought in Trinidad.
The pipeline, owned by Buckeye Pipeline Co., takes fuel from a facility in Linden, N.J., to the airport. Other lines service LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
Buckeye spokesman Roy Haase said the company, which moves petroleum through pipelines in a number of states, had been informed of the threat from the beginning.
"Given the nature of Buckeye business and the importance of this transportation network, we have an intense and ongoing communications relationship with the Port Authority, the New York City fire and police departments, the federal Department of Homeland Security and the FBI," he said.
FOX News' Lee Ross and the Associated Press contributed to this report.