GEORGETOWN – Two Muslim businessmen in Guyana said Friday that the FBI and police recently questioned them about an alleged plot to blow up New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport even as court proceedings are under way in the United States.
"They wanted to know if the men, Defreitas in particular, sold the idea about the plot to anyone willing to carry out such a plan," Baptiste told The Associated Press. "I could not help them on that."
The FBI did not immediately return a call for comment.
Defreitas has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges, as did with Kareem Ibrahim, Abdel Nur and Abdul Kadir, who were extradited from Trinidad in June. All are Guyana natives except Ibrahim, who is from Trinidad.
Further hearings are scheduled for next week in New York.
An indictment accuses the men of hoping to "cause greater destruction than in the Sept. 11 attacks" by using explosives to ignite the fuel pipeline feeding JFK and destroy the airport and parts of the borough of Queens.
Authorities say the plot never got past the planning stage.
Neville Rutherford, a prominent Guyanese Muslim, said police recently tried to question him but that he refused to talk.
Rutherford also said that an FBI informant posed as a Muslim friend last year and prayed with him at a mosque.
"I have done nothing wrong and in fact, kicked out the informer when I found out he was trying to tape conversations," Rutherford told the AP, "I am not guilty of anything."
Rutherford has said investigators are trying to falsely implicate him as "Individual E," who according to the criminal complaint first agreed to take part in the plot, then backed out.