JFK Terror Suspects Plead Not Guilty to Conspiracy

Three men charged with plotting an attack on New York City's JFK airport were arraigned on Wednesday.

Abdul Kadir was the first of the defendants to face charges at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse.

He pleaded not guilty to six counts: conspiracy to attack a public transportation system; conspiracy to destroy a building by fire; conspiracy to attack an aircraft; conspiracy to destroy an international airport, specifically JFK; conspiracy to attack a mass transportation facility; and engaging in surveillance of mass transportation security.

The judge granted the U.S. attorney's request that he remain in detention. No bail was set.

Kareem Ibrahim, a Muslim cleric, and Abdel Nur appeared next and also pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and other charges.

Trinidadian suspect Ibrahim had been hospitalized since April after apparently suffering a mental breakdown.

The suspects have denied allegations of participating in a terror cell that planned to blow up a jet fuel artery feeding New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Their lawyers argue that a government informant entrapped the men into plotting the attack, but that there never was any real threat.

Appeals Court Judge Roger Hamel Smith on Monday upheld their extradition from Trinidad and rejected a defense argument that the three, who claim they cannot get a fair trial in the U.S. because of publicity, could not legally be extradited under Trinidad law.

A fourth suspect, who worked as a cargo handler at the airport until 1995, is in custody in New York.

A U.S. indictment charges the suspects with conspiring to "cause death, serious bodily injury and extensive destruction."

The next court date is Aug. 7.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.